Chinese warship comes within 150 yards of US destroyer in latest act of aggression near Taiwan: report
A Chinese warship narrowly avoided hitting the USS Chung-Hoon on Saturday, coming within just 150 yards of the American destroyer as it conducted exercises with Canada in the Taiwan Strait. The ship reportedly sped up and crossed in front of the Chung-Hoon, warning of a collision if the US vessel did not alter course. Tensions between China and the US remain high in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims as an exclusive economic zone. The strait, however, is recognized as international waters. Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said that her country would continue to sail “where international law allows”.
What happened in the Taiwan Strait?
On 29 May 2021, a Chinese warship came within 150 yards of hitting the USS Chung-Hoon as it was conducting joint exercises with Canada in the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese ship sped up and cut in front of USS Chung-Hoon’s bow, warning the U.S. ship that there would be a collision if it didn’t alter course.
What are the tensions between China and the US?
Tensions between China and the US have been heightened in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims as an exclusive economic zone. The US has been conducting naval exercises in the area to reinforce its presence in the region, leading to warnings from China.
What is Canada’s stance on the issue?
Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand has said that Canada will continue to sail where international law allows, including the Strait, the South China Sea. She added that their overall goal is to increase the peace and stability of the region.
What was the result of the near-collision incident?
The Chinese had warned the U.S. and Canadian ships they were in Chinese territorial waters, despite the strait being recognized as international waters. The incident has raised concerns about the potential for conflict in the region.
Reportedly, a Chinese naval vessel approached a US destroyer within 150 yards in a recent display of hostility near Taiwan.
A tense standoff was narrowly avoided on Saturday when a Chinese warship almost collided with the USS Chung-Hoon while the US destroyer was engaged in joint exercises with Canada in the Taiwan Strait, according to Canada’s Global News, whose reporters witnessed the incident from the HMCS Montreal. The Chinese ship is said to have sped up and cut in front of the American vessel’s bow, warning of a collision if it did not change course. The USS Chung-Hoon similarly warned the Chinese crew to stay away and the vessel altered its course at the last moment. HMS Montreal Commander Paul Mountford said the incident was “not professional” and “clearly instigated by the Chinese”.
The tension comes at a time of heightened USA-Chinese hostility in the South China Sea. While Canada’s Defense Minister, Anita Anand, said on Monday that the country intends to sail in areas where international law permits, China had warned the US and Canadian ships that they were in Chinese territorial waters, a claim Mountford rejected. The joint US-Canadian exercises had been shadowed for a week by Chinese vessels before the American vessel entered the strait, Global News said.
Acting irresponsibly in the region is “not acceptable,” said Anand. “Our overall goal is to increase the peace and stability of this region. That’s why we are going to see more of Canada in this region as set out in our Indo-Pacific strategy”, she added.
The Canadian Defense Minister recently attended a security summit in Singapore that was also attended by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Li Shangfu, his Chinese counterpart. Late last month, the Chinese government threatened “serious consequences” after the US sailed through the contested Paracel Islands, which it claims sovereignty over. Last month, it also upset Vietnam by deploying a research vessel to an area where a Russian state firm is operating a gas block, disregarding Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.