By Benjamin Carlson, GlobalPost
HONG KONG — As anyone who has seen “Rebel Without a Cause” knows, playing chicken is dangerous for California teenagers in hot-rods.
But playing chicken with warships, cruisers, and fighter jets — well, that’s just another level of crazy.
Unfortunately, vessels from the U.S. military and from other countries increasingly find themselves in such high-stakes confrontations on the East Asian seas, where China has adopted a strategy of making rivals flinch or risk collision.
Just this week, Chinese sailors parked three ships on a disputed reef 50 miles from the Malaysian coast and performed a ceremony in which they swore an oath “to safeguard [China’s] sovereignty and territorial interests.” Malaysia also claims the reef, and is building a naval base nearby to protect it against China’s claim.
That’s just the latest in an escalating series of incidents.