Chinese Water Torture…

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The USS Chung-Hoon leaving Pearl Harbor last week

Spinning off Mark Benjamin’s Chinese posting: a couple of days after celebrating U.S. naval prowess in 1942’s Battle of Midway — widely seen as the turning point in World War II’s Pacific war between the U.S. and Japan — the guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon is continuing further east as tensions rise between China and its neighbors over the oil-rich Spratly islands. U.S. Navy officials say the Pearl Harbor-based ship and its 280-member crew will engage in exercises with allies in the region.

They downplay any suggestion that the ship’s movement is aimed at China, noting that it had sailed a similar route last year for exercises with Philippine and Singaporean forces. Meanwhile, over on Time‘s Global Spin blog, Austin Ramzy writes that Beijing is trying to reassure its neighbors that its intentions are benign, even as the Philippine government protests Chinese construction projects on the too-close-to-Manila-for-comfort Spratlys.