A Chinese warship nearly hit an American destroyer over the weekend in the Taiwan Strait, video of the moment shows.
According to the U.S. 7th Fleet, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) and Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH 336) conducted a routine transit in the Taiwan Strait “through waters where high-seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law.”
The Chinese warship claimed the American and Canadian ships were sailing into Chinese territory and came within 150 yards of striking the USS Chung-Hoon.
After increasing its speed, the Chinese ship radioed the USS Chung-Hoon, telling it to move or risk colliding. The American ship responded, telling the Chinese ship to move before ultimately changing its course to avoid disaster, HMCS Montreal Capt. Paul Mountford said, Canadian newspaper Global News reported.
“The fact this was announced over the radio prior to doing it clearly indicated it was intentional,” Mountfourd added, noting it was “not professional.”
U.S. 7th Fleet said the ships’ transit through the corridor “is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal State” and “Chung-Hoon and Montreal’s bilateral transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
“Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region where aircraft and ships of all nations may fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” U.S. 7th Fleet’s statement added.
The incident came just days after a Chinese jet buzzed a U.S. Air Force RC-135 aircraft, causing it to shake.
USINDOPACOM released video of the incident and said the PRC pilot “flew directly in front of the nose of the RC-135, forcing the U.S. aircraft to fly through its wake turbulence.”
“The RC-135 was conducting safe and routine operations over the South China Sea in international airspace, in accordance with international law,” USINDOPACOM continued.