‘Aggressive’ Chinese Warship Forces American Destroyer to Change Course
‘Aggressive’ Chinese Warship Forces American Destroyer to Change Course
A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer underway in the Pacific Ocean
05 October, 2018, 16:10
The People's Liberation Army Navy ship, reportedly the Type 052C Luyang II-class guided-missile destroyer Lanzhou (170), part of the Chinese navy's South Sea Fleet, took on the US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Decatur (DDG-73) during a close approach near Gaven Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands.
Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe is due to visit the U.S. later this year but China's Defence Ministry suggested last week that the visit may not happen.
The Chinese destroyer came within 41 metres (135 feet) of the American warship, the USA navy said, describing the Chinese move as "unsafe and unprofessional".
Relations between the USA and China have deteriorated over an escalating trade dispute.
It approached within 45 yards of the Decatur's bow, forcing it to maneuver, Gorman said.
But as the U.S. does not recognize China's sovereignty over the islands on which it has constructed reefs, U.S. ships do not request permission to pass through those 12-mile limits.
The U.S. Navy has made a point of sailing through the contested waters in defiance of China's claims.
It added that the United States was "taking one provocative operation after another ... under the pretext of "navigation and overflight freedom".
China claims the rights to most of the strategic waterway and has built man-made islands on reefs and equipped them with airstrips, radar domes and missile systems. "Our interests and the region's are inextricably intertwined".
Mr. Pence will report that the USA intelligence community has concluded that China is targeting state and local government and officials to exploit divisions between federal and local policy, such as tariffs.
The Chinese destroyer was trying to run off the American ship from what China considers its own territory.
The United States and China traded new accusations over naval operations in the South China Sea on Tuesday after warships from each country came perilously close to colliding in the disputed waters.
The islands are mostly uninhabited but are close to busy shipping lanes - lanes which the USA has an interest in protecting.
The Chinese warship moves ahead of its USA counterpart after forcing the United States ship to perform a "radical maneuver", Schuster said. "As we have for decades, our forces will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere global law allows".
"The U.S. side repeatedly sends military ships without permission into seas close to South China Seas islands, seriously threatening China's sovereignty and security, seriously damaging Sino-U.S. military ties and seriously harming regional peace and stability", China's defence ministry said.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to China on Monday, Chinese State Television reported on Wednesday, citing a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, with the two countries embroiled in an escalating trade war.
Beijing said the USA had no right to interfere in Chinese military cooperation with Russian Federation.
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