It seems that the Red Chinese are testing the Obama Administration with a little gunboat diplomacy. Well, Chinese Bureau of Fisheries Patrol boat diplomacy anyway.
Chinese ships surrounded and harassed a Navy mapping ship in international waters off China, at one point coming within 25 feet of the American boat and strewing debris in its path, the Defense Department said Monday. The Obama administration said it would continue naval operations in the South China Sea, most of which China considers its territory, and protested to China about what it called reckless behavior that endangered lives.
If Obama pulls out the ships before their mission is over I can see the Chinese using that bit of knowledge to their advantage. They will then push a little further to see how free a hand they have against the US.
Look for Russia to rustle the bushes in the next few weeks. Maybe a little Ukrainian pressure by the Putinocracy will be used to take a measure of Obama's mettle. This is the best time to do it as well because it will goose oil prices and Obama can't respond as well due to the financial crisis. I still think Obama vs. Putin is a child fighting against a grown man.