China Caused Close Call With US Ship, Says Military

US military releases video of incident in the Taiwan Strait
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 5, 2023 1:51 AM CDT

The United States military released video Monday of what it called an “unsafe” Chinese maneuver in the Taiwan Strait over the weekend, in which a Chinese navy ship cut sharply across the path of an American destroyer, forcing the US ship to slow to avoid a collision, the AP reports. The incident occurred Saturday as the American destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal were conducting a so-called “freedom of navigation” transit of the strait between Taiwan and mainland China.

China claims the democratic self-governing island of Taiwan as part of its own territory, and maintains the strait is part of its exclusive economic zone, while the US and its allies regularly sail through and fly over the passage to emphasize their contention that the waters are international. During the Saturday transit, the Chinese guided-missile destroyer overtook the Chung-Hoon on its port side, then veered across its bow at a distance of some 150 yards, according to the US Indo-Pacific Command. The American destroyer held its course, but reduced speed to 10 knots “to avoid a collision,” the military said.

The video released Monday shows the Chinese ship cutting across the course of the American one, then straightening out to start sailing in a parallel direction. Indo-Pacific Command said the actions violated maritime rules of safe passage in international water. The Chinese ship did not attempt a similar maneuver on the Canadian frigate, which was sailing behind the American destroyer. (The US also recently accused China of performing an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” in the air.)

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