This is actually quite simple. was the “ship” in ‘international waters’.
I dunno, but I suspect that it most likely was, I mean I know withought a doubt that many a doltic - idiotic nation will use what they can as any excuse, to cry foul.
And I must say that this actually surprises me, I mean It is The Chineese, I’m only asking if thier simply posing insofar as the normal inteligent Chineese naval guy, (we located a vessle)??. And then that guy dose what he does. I’m just saying that China bought enough of our debt that we should be BFFE. I Love the good folk, and I despise the comunisim.
There is a Chinese governmental claim to an "exclusive economic zone" here, which someone -- the Politburo? -- would like to expand to include preclusion of naval vessels.
Both claims need to be challenged by the U.S. very vigorously. I personally favor creating an artificial island on a reef not claimed by the Chinese (who have occupied several miserable rocks and actually garrisoned them) and expanding it to create a combination oil & gas drilling "island", dock and wharf, and ...... submarine slips. Complete with channels. Marked, of course. And with American flags all over it. And U.S. Marines, of course.
Screw them, we'll create our own land, right in the middle of the South China Sea.
As for exclusive economic zones, they are somewhat nebulous concepts legally, and in any case they didn't prevent (and the U.S. did not object to) Soviet cruisers from parading around the U.S. offshore oil industry out near the shelf break (~450' W.D.), over 140 miles offshore, right past big U.S. production and drilling platforms. There are extant some file photos of interesting juxtapositions of U.S. submersible-barge drilling rigs and Soviet missile cruisers and DDG's.