It’s a funny story told by the BBC: risking setting fire to the regional powder, the Chinese navy entered a disputed maritime area to steal, in the hands of its Filipino equivalent, a piece of fallen object from the sky.
The Manila maritime forces had, it seems, managed to get their hands on a secret object sensitive enough for Beijing to authorize such a daring maneuver. It is probably the debris of a Long March-5b rocket, which recently fell back to Earth without achieving complete combustion when it entered the atmosphere.
Read alsoAt Mach 9, China tests a hypersonic detonation reactor running on kerosene
According to Philippine Vice-Admiral Alberto Carlos, the disputed piece of contraption was first spotted early Sunday morning, November 20, off Thitu Island, whose waters are believed to be under the control of Manila. Metallic in nature but floating on the surface of the ocean, it was recovered by one of its ships.
But others, Chinese these, were watching and did not intend to let the Philippine Navy do its thing. According to this same Alberto Carlos, a boat from the People’s Liberation Army navy therefore cut the trajectory of its Filipino rival twice, in order to hinder its progress, before cutting the rope with which the mysterious object was towed, and to “seize it by force”.
Because “it was not a question of life or death”, explains a spokesperson, the Philippine ship let it go and it was decided not to use force to take the thing back from the hands of the Chinese sailors. .
It is fortunate: the incident comes at the very time when the American vice-president, Kamala Harris, in visit to the islands of the Philippines, criticized …