The US military said on Saturday that a Chinese naval vessel maneuvered in an “unsafe manner” near a US destroyer passing through the Taiwan Strait.
A video taken by Canadian news agency Global News showed a Chinese warship speeding towards the aircraft carrier USS Chong Hun. The US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that it came within 150 yards of the US destroyer.
This is the second confrontation between US and Chinese military assets in less than 10 days, after thatIt was an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” by a Beijing fighter near one of the surveillance planes in Washington last week.
The US Indo-Pacific Command (Usindupacom) said in a statement that the Chinese ship “executed maneuvers in an unsafe manner in the vicinity” of Chong Hun.
The Beijing ship “passed Chong Hoon on the port side and crossed the bow 150 yards away. Chong Hoon maintained course and slowed to 10 (knots) to avoid collision,” the statement said.
It then “crossed Chong Hun’s bow a second time to starboard at 2,000 yards (meters) and stayed off Chong Hun’s port bow,” coming within 150 yards of the nearest point, adding that “US Army” flies, sails, and operates. safely and responsibly wherever international law allows.”
The incident occurred when the Chong Hun sailed through the Taiwan Strait on board a Canadian warship on a joint mission through the sensitive waterway that separates self-ruled Taiwan from China.
The Chinese military said it monitored the corridor, but did not indicate a close encounter.
“Relevant countries deliberately stir up trouble in the Taiwan Strait, deliberately stir up dangers, and maliciously undermine regional peace and stability,” said Col. Shi Yi, spokesman for China’s Eastern Theater Command.
US warships frequently sail through the strait. The last joint passage between the United States and Canada was in September 2022.
The incident occurred while US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart Li Changfu were participating in a defense summit in Singapore. The United States had invited Lee to meet with Austin on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, but Beijing refused.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing have escalated this year over issues including Taiwan and Beijingwhich was dropped after it traversed the United States
On Friday, CBS NewsThat CIA Director William Burns secretly traveled to Beijing last month to meet with his counterparts in Chinese intelligence.
A US official told CBS News that the meeting aimed to stress “the importance of maintaining open lines of communication in the intelligence channels.”
The State Department also said in a statement on Saturday that two US officials were flying to Beijing on Sunday to meet with Chinese officials in order to discuss “major issues in bilateral relations.” They are Daniel Kreitenbrink, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Sarah Perran, Senior Director for the National Security Council for China and Taiwan.
Sunday marks the 34th anniversary of the bloody and brutal massacrewhere Chinese soldiers killed hundreds of demonstrators.
The encounter with the ship in the Taiwan Strait followed what the US military described as a risky maneuver by a Chinese aircraft that “flew directly in front of and within 400 feet of the nose” of an RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft on May 26 over the South China Sea.
Beijing blamed the US “provocation”, with a State Department spokeswoman saying that “the long-term and frequent dispatch of ships and aircraft to monitor China seriously harms China’s national sovereignty and security”.
China claims Taiwan as its territory – and has vowed to one day take it, by force if necessary – and in recent years has stepped up military and political pressure on the island.
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