US angered by Chinese navy; Chinese drop their pants

Is their some Chinese symbolism in dropping your pants? And is it reasonable for the Chinese to tell a US spy boat to take a hike in the South China Sea? Would the US tell a Chinese spy boat to leave if it were in the Gulf of Mexico?
clipped from www.theaustralian.news.com.au

The tension on the high seas took an odd turn at one point when the Americans sprayed water at the Chinese boats and the crew responded by stripping to their underwear.

“Because the vessels’ intentions were not known, Impeccable sprayed its fire hoses at one of the vessels in order to protect itself.

“The Chinese crewmembers disrobed to their underwear and continued closing to within 25 feet (8m),” said the Pentagon statement.
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