The US releases a video showing a hand-to-hand combat with a Chinese destroyer

BANGKOK (AP) — The U.S. military on Monday released video of a so-called “unsafe” Chinese maneuver in the Taiwan Strait over the weekend, in which a Chinese naval vessel sharply crossed the path of an American destroyer, forcing the U.S. ship to slow down, to avoid a collision.

The incident occurred on Saturday when the American destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and the Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal were conducting a so-called “freedom of navigation” transit through the strait between Taiwan and mainland China.

China claims the democratically self-governing island of Taiwan as part of its own territory and claims the strait is part of its exclusive economic zone, while the US and its allies regularly sail and fly through the passage to underscore their claim that the waters are involved are international.

During Saturday’s transit, the Chinese guided missile destroyer overtook the Chung-Hoon on the port side and then swerved over her bow at a distance of about 150 yards (137 meters), according to the US Indo-Pacific Command. The American destroyer held its course but reduced speed to 10 knots “to avoid a collision,” the military said.

Video released Monday shows the Chinese ship crossing the American ship’s course, then straightening out to sail in a parallel direction.

The Indo-Pacific Command said the actions violated maritime rules for safe passage in international waters.

The Chinese ship did not attempt a similar maneuver on the Canadian frigate sailing behind the American destroyer.

“The cross-strait transit of Chung-Hoon and Montreal demonstrates the joint commitment of the US and Canada to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the Indo-Pacific Command said. “The US military flies, sails and operates wherever international law permits, safely and responsibly.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin defended the maneuver, saying it was carried out “in accordance with the law”.

“China’s military actions are fully justified, lawful, safe and professional,” he told reporters in Beijing. “It is the US that should think deeply about itself and right the wrongdoing.”

The US recently accused China of conducting an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” in the air as well, saying a Chinese J-16 fighter jet flew right under the nose of a US Air Force reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea late last month .

The tight talks have raised concerns about a possible accident that could lead to an escalation between the two countries’ militaries, although tensions in the region are already high.

The cross-strait incident occurred on a day when both US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister General Li Shangfu were in Singapore for an annual defense conference.

Li indicated on Sunday that the US and its allies created the danger with their patrols and wanted to provoke China.

“The best way is for countries, especially countries’ naval vessels and fighter jets, not to carry out lockdown operations around other countries’ territory,” he said through an interpreter. “What’s the point of going there? In China, we always say, ‘Mind your own business.’”

Austin had invited Li to speak on the sidelines of the conference; Li declined.

In this photo provided by the US Navy, the USS Chung-Hoon watches as a Chinese naval ship conduct a so-called operation "unsafe” Chinese maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday.
In this photo provided by the US Navy, the USS Chung-Hoon watches as a Chinese Navy ship conducts what it calls an “unsafe” Chinese maneuver in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday.

Rick Schindler

Rick Schindler is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Rick Schindler joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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