The USS Stethem reported a man overboard earlier this week. The missing sailor has not been found. At the time of the incident, the Stethem was involved in operations to assert America’s right to passage in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands. China regards this area as part of their national territory and has repeatedly complained that such operations are a violation of their sovereignty.
However, per CBS news, despite their objections to the U.S. operations, China has offered help in the search for the missing sailor:
China’s Defense Ministry says a Chinese warship is assisting the U.S. Navy in its search for a sailor who is missing and may have gone overboard during operations in the South China Sea. cbsnews.com
image courtesy of cbsnews.com
Whatever diplomatic and military tensions may exist between the two countries, we appreciate efforts by any nation to help find our missing sailor, and our thoughts are with the sailor’s family and crew.