U.S. Navy ships have been involved in four accidents in Asian waters this year, including three collisions and one ship that ran aground.
“The two severe collisions within two months show that the U.S. Navy’s combat readiness level and military management level have both declined,” said the Global Times.
The newspaper added, however, that the “missing and injured U.S. sailors deserve sympathy.”
Commentaries in state Chinese media are widely followed for insight into government thinking.
US Navy ‘behaved arrogantly’
The Global Times said the U.S. Pacific Command is not working to avoid collisions in the South China Sea. “Its activities only aim at putting China in check,” the editorial said.
“U.S. warships are constantly involved in accidents around the South China Sea. On the one hand, the U.S. Navy has behaved arrogantly in the Asia-Pacific region. It lacks respect for huge merchant ships and fails to take evasive action in time, thus resulting in serious accidents,” it added.
On the other hand, U.S. warships also patrol the region “too frequently.”
Meanwhile, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a scheduled press conference on Monday that China is “concerned about the threat and hidden danger posed by the relevant incident to the safety of navigation in the South China Sea and relevant waters. We hope that the relevant issue can be handled properly.”
The U.S. Navy announced a fleet-wide investigation and plans temporary halts in operations to focus on safety.
The navies of the United States, Malaysia and Singapore continued their search for the 10 American service members on Tuesday.