Warship crossing in front of US destroyer was ‘safe’: Chinese foreign ministry

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The maneuver of a Chinese warship in the Taiwan Strait during an encounter with a US destroyer was completely reasonable, legal, professional and “safe,” a spokesperson at China’s foreign ministry said at a press conference on Monday.

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The US Navy on Sunday released a video of what it called an “unsafe interaction” in the Taiwan Strait, in which a Chinese warship crossed in front of a US destroyer in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday.

The encounter comes as both countries have traded blame for not holding military talks - with disagreements between the two over everything from trade and Taiwan to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - and raises the specter of future face-offs that could spiral out of control.

The US military said the USS Chung-Hoon, a destroyer; and Canada’s HSMC Montreal, a frigate, were conducting a “routine” transit of the strait on Saturday when the Chinese ship cut in front of the US vessel, coming within 150 yards (137 meters).

In the video, released by the US Navy late Sunday, a Chinese warship can clearly be seen sailing across the path of the Chung-Hoon in calm waters. The Chung-Hoon does not change course.

A voice can be heard in English, apparently sending a radio message to the Chinese ship, warning against “attempts to limit freedom of navigation,” though the exact wording is unclear because of wind noise.

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