U.S. military video shows ship’s near-collision with Chinese destroyer

The US military released a video showing the moment a Chinese navy ship sailed into the path of the USS Chung-Hoon and Canada’s HMCS Montreal in the Taiwan Strait, forcing the destroyer American to brake to avoid the collision.

The video, which was released on Sunday and was taken from the deck of the USS Chung-Hoon, shows China’s Luyang III, a Type 052D destroyer, sharply cutting the US ship’s course before righting and sail in a parallel direction.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said the “unsafe” maneuver, which took place on Saturday, brought the Chinese vessel within 150 meters of US and Canadian vessels during a routine freedom of navigation exercise. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Monday that Beijing has “strongly opposed relevant countries creating trouble” in the Taiwan Strait and that the United States had caused trouble first.

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China claims Taiwan, a self-governing democracy of 23 million people, as its own territory and maintains that the Taiwan Strait is part of its economic zone. The United States said the strait is part of international waters, and said its exercise with HMCS Montreal “demonstrates the combined commitment of the US and Canada to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the incident in the Taiwan Strait was part of an “increasing aggression” by China that “we are with we’re dealing and we’re ready.” to address it”.

The near miss came two weeks after what US officials called an “unnecessarily aggressive” encounter between Chinese and US military aircraft over the South China Sea. A Chinese fighter jet flew just a few dozen feet in front of an Air Force RC-135 surveillance plane, forcing the American plane into turbulence.

“We will continue to keep the lines open with the Chinese to make clear how unacceptable these particular intercepts are,” Kirby said. “We are operating in international airspace and international waters. And both incidents fully complied with international law.”

“It won’t be long before someone gets hurt,” Kirby added. “That’s the concern with these unsafe, unprofessional interceptions. They can lead to misunderstandings. They can lead to miscalculations.”

Kirby said that President Biden “will have another conversation with President Xi, and we will have that at the right time. And I’m sure that when he does, he will be as candid with President Xi then as he has been in the past.

The encounters dealt a blow to recent efforts to ease a diplomatic standoff between the United States and China after the US military shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon in February. Beijing has signaled a desire to move past the incident, and President Biden spoke of a potential “thaw” in US-China relations last month.

Video released by the Department of Defense on May 30 shows a Chinese fighter jet forcing a US aircraft into turbulence over the South China Sea. (Video: Department of Defense)

Over the weekend, US and Chinese defense officials publicly accused each other of stoking tensions in the Taiwan Strait in separate events after Beijing rejected a US request to meet in private

On Saturday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Washington would not accept “coercion and harassment” of allies and partners by China and warned the Chinese military against “unprofessional” intercepts of warplanes over the South China Sea.

Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu on Sunday accused “some countries” of “voluntarily interfering in the internal affairs of other countries” and building “exclusive military alliances” in the Asia-Pacific.

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On Sunday, before releasing the video, Li suggested that the United States and its allies were determined to provoke China. “Why does all the friction between military aircraft and warships you mentioned happen near China’s airspace and territorial waters?” he asked. “What do you do for other people’s houses?”

“In our language, we would say, Mind your own people, mind your own ships, and mind your own planes.”

Vic Chiang contributed to this report.

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