But on our heels, not our toes….
Last month, Commander US Pacific Command Admiral Samuel Locklear talked about the People’s Republic of China’s action of sending along a spy ship to shadow a RIMPAC exercise (to which the PRC also had sent four combatant ships at RIMPAC’s invitation to participate. Among other things, Locklear thought the spy ship’s appearance was good news.
It’s a recognition, I think, of acceptance by the Chinese that what we’ve been saying to them for some time is that military operations and survey operations in another country’s [maritime zones] are within international law and are acceptable.
As AEIdeas‘ Michael Auslin put it in that linked-to article, though,
…it is a far greater admission that Beijing views the United States with precisely the deep and enduring distrust that America’s senior military leaders have hoped to dispel….