Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

'Aggressive' Chinese destroyer came within 45 yards of US warship

'Aggressive' Chinese destroyer came within 45 yards of US warship

The destroyer "approached within 45 yards of Decatur's bow, after which Decatur maneuvered to prevent a collision", he said.

"The Chinese side strongly urges the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistakes and stop such provocative operations", Hua said, adding that China would take all necessary measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and security.

ABC reports of the encounter state that the PLAN vessel was initially 500 yards from the USS Decatur's port side, but moved ahead of the US ship to cut across its path coming within 45 yards of the front of the Decatur.

A U.S. Arleigh Burke-class destroyer had an "unsafe" and "unprofessional" interaction with a Chinese warship during a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea on Sunday.

Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, said in a communique that the incursión last Sunday of missile destructor Decatur near the reefs and islets of Nansha island is a provocation.

Meanwhile, China accused the us of violating its "indisputable sovereignty" over the South China Sea feature - a claim that runs counter to a 2016 ruling by an worldwide arbitration panel in the Hague. China has built up a number of islands and claims ownership of them.

Sunday's incident may signal a new willingness to employ similarly aggressive tactics against us warships in the South China Sea.

Beijing says its facilities in the waters are for defensive purposes, but some experts say this is part of a concerted bid to cement de facto control of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the vital transit route for world trade.

Monday's incident too was condemned by the Chinese. The Navy destroyer had to maneuver to avoid a Chinese ship that came within 45 yards of its bow while the Decatur was sailing through the Spratley Islands on Sunday in what was the closest direct confrontation between U.S. and Chinese ships since Trump's inauguration (after which the Navy began conducting these freeops with increasing frequency).

The USS Decatur, a guided-missile destroyer, was conducting a freedom of navigation operation in in the South China Sea, a US defense official told Fox News in a statement.

Washington has said the aim is to reject what it considers excessive maritime claims by any country.

This means that Decatur was likely maintaining a steady course when the Chinese warship approached it in an attempt to force it off-course and induce it to leave. But ties have worsened in recent weeks with a US decision to issue economic sanctions over the purchase of Russian fighter jets and surface-to-air missile equipment.

Plans for U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to visit China in October for talks were scrapped in recent days, with conflicting reports as to who cancelled them.

China has not yet commented on the matter.

Washington last week enacted new tariffs against China covering another $200 billion of its imports.

Neither side has showed signs of giving up, and there are no trade negotiations scheduled to end the commercial battle.

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