US Navy releases video of Chinese warship's 'unsafe interaction' near Taiwan

Chinese warship Luyang III sails near the US destroyer USS Chung-Hoon, as seen from the deck of US destroyer, in the Taiwan Strait, June 3, 2023, in this screen grab from a handout video. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service/Handout via REUTERS

The US Navy has released a video depicting an "unsafe interaction" in the Taiwan Strait, in which a Chinese warship crossed before a US destroyer in the strategic waterway separating democratically governed Taiwan from China.

The US military stated that the destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and the frigate HSMC Montreal were conducting a "routine" transit of the strait on Saturday when the Chinese ship came within 150 yards (meters) of the American ship.

In the video released by the US Navy late Sunday, a Chinese warship can be seen sailing in calm waters across the Chung-Hoon's path. The course of the Chung-Hoon does not vary.

A voice is audible in English, ostensibly sending a radio message to the Chinese ship that warns against "attempts to limit freedom of navigation," although the precise wording is obscured by wind noise.

China has not explicitly responded to US criticism of the meeting, and its foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Monday request for comment.

On Saturday night, China's military criticized the United States and Canada for "deliberately provoking risk" with the uncommon joint sailing.

On Sunday, Taiwan's defense ministry referred to China's actions as a "provocation" and stated that it was the responsibility of all free and democratic nations to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

"Any actions that increase tension and danger will not contribute to regional security," the statement read.

The ministry urged China to uphold the right to unrestricted navigation.

The Taiwanese government vehemently opposes China's claim that Taiwan is its territory.

Beijing has intensified its military and political pressure on Taiwan in an effort to compel it to recognize its sovereignty, including the staging of regular military exercises near the island.

According to the United States, a Chinese fighter aircraft conducted an "unnecessarily aggressive" maneuver near a US military plane over the South China Sea in international airspace on May 26.

Publish : 2023-06-05 10:35:00

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