The United States Navy has released footage of what it says was an “unsafe interaction” with a Chinese warship that cut across the path of an American destroyer in the .
The USS Chung-Hoon was conducting a in the strait on Sunday with Canadian frigate, the HMCS Montreal.
The US Indo-Pacific Command said a Chinese guided missile destroyer veered 137 meters (150 yards) in front of the American ship, forcing it to reduce its speed by 10 knots “to avoid a collision.”
“Chung-Hoon and Montreal’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the combined US-Canadian commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the Indo-Pacific Command said.
“The US military flies, sails, and operates safely and responsibly anywhere international law allows.”
China says maneuver was reasonable and safe
China, which considers the self-governing island of Taiwan to be a breakaway province, claims the entire strait as part of its exclusive economic zone.
On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry said the actions taken by the Chinese ship were reasonable, legal, professional and safe.
The incident in the Taiwan Strait on Sunday happened as Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Li Shangfu and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin were both in Singapore for the , the region’s top defense summit.
Li did not directly address the incident at the summit but commented more broadly on the American navigation missions around Taiwan.
“The best way is for the countries, especially the naval vessels and fighter jets of countries, not to do closing actions around other countries’ territories,” Li said through an interpreter.
“What’s the point of going there? In China we always say, ‘Mind your own business.’”
zc/kb (AP, Reuters)
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