A Chinese Navy ship maneuvered in an “unsafe manner” near an American destroyer transiting the Taiwan Strait, the US military said Saturday.
It is the second close encounter between American and Chinese military assets in less than 10 days, following what the US military said was an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” by one of Beijing’s fighter’s near one of Washington’s surveillance planes last week.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
The Chinese ship “executed maneuvers in an unsafe manner in the vicinity of Chung-Hoon,” an American destroyer, during the Saturday transit, the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) said in a statement.
Beijing’s ship “overtook Chung-Hoon on their port side and crossed their bow at 150 yards. Chung-Hoon maintained course and slowed to 10 (knots) to avoid a collision,” the statement said.
It then “crossed Chung-Hoon’s bow a second time starboard to port at 2,000 yards (meters) and remained off Chung-Hoon’s port bow,” coming within 150 yards at the closest point, the US military said, adding that the “US military flies, sails, and operates safely and responsibly anywhere international law allows.”
The incident occurred as the Chung-Hoon sailed through the Taiwan Strait with a Canadian warship in a joint mission through the sensitive waterway that separates self-ruled Taiwan from China.
The Chinese military said it had monitored the passage, but made no mention of a close encounter.
“The relevant countries are intentionally creating trouble in the Taiwan Strait, deliberately stirring up risks, and maliciously undermining regional peace and stability,” said Senior Colonel Shi Yi, the spokesman of China’s Eastern Theatre Command.
US warships frequently sail through the strait. The last joint US-Canada passage was in September 2022.
China claims Taiwan as its territory -- vowing to take it one day, by force if necessary -- and has in recent years ramped up military and political pressure on the island.
The Taiwan Strait ship encounter followed what the US military characterized as a risky maneuver by a Chinese jet that “flew directly in front of and within 400 feet of the nose” of an RC-135 surveillance plane on May 26 over the South China Sea.
Beijing blamed US “provocation,” with a foreign ministry spokeswoman saying the “United States’ long-term and frequent sending of ships and planes to conduct close surveillance on China seriously harms China’s national sovereignty and security.”
Chinese fighter jet carried out ‘unnecessarily aggressive’ move near US plane
Taiwan says Chinese aircraft carrier sailed through strait
China’s foreign minister: Both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to China
China’s defense minister says his country seeks dialogue with US over conflictChinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu said on Sunday that conflict with the United States would be an “unbearable disaster” but that his country seeks ... World News
Senior US State Department official Daniel Kritenbrink arrives in ChinaA senior US State Department official arrived in Beijing on Sunday with meetings planned for the coming week as Washington seeks to boost ... World News
Senior US official to travel to China for rare visit: State DepartmentA senior US diplomat will embark on a rare trip to Beijing Sunday, the government said, as Washington seeks to allay tensions between the rival powers ... World News