I get the fact that the American merchant marine vessel mentioned in this WaPo article is probably the naval equivalent of a listening device. And I get the fact that the Chinese would want to harass it, even if it is in international waters. And I get the parallels to the U.S. airmen held at Hainan in the early months of the Bush administration.
But this part, I don’t get:
Is this some sort of naval hazing ritual, or a high-stakes prank? That sounds like something you’d read in the Onion.