Chinese language warship sails inside metres of U.S. destroyer

Charlene Craig
October 5, 2018

The US recently imposed sanctions on the Chinese military over its purchases of Russian military jets and surface-to-air missiles.

The USS Decatur guided-missile destroyer was conducting what the military calls a "freedom of navigation operation" Sunday, September 30, when it passed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson reefs in the remote Spratly Islands.

Hua's declarations revalidate those of the Chinese Ministry of Defense that earlier spoke in similar terms on the new entry of a USA military ship in China waters.

China said it drove away a U.S. Navy warship that sailed close to a Chinese-occupied feature in the disputed South China Sea, in the latest show of tensions between the countries amid their escalating trade war.

A Chinese Luyang-class destroyer steered within 45 yards of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer near the Spratly Islands in a confrontational exchange that United States officials deemed "unsafe", CNN first reported on Monday. Chinese officials rescinded the invitation, the US official said.

Although the US takes no position on the competing claims, its navy regularly carries out freedom of navigation operations - known as "FONOPs" - by sending warships and aircraft near disputed waters to demonstrate the right to travel through what it considers worldwide waters and airspace.

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China's Foreign Ministry said in a separate statement it strongly urged the United States to stop such "provocative" actions and to "immediately correct its mistakes".

In his annual address to the U.N. General Assembly, Trump said China's trade policies "cannot be tolerated" anymore.

The US Navy on Tuesday said that a Chinese warship had sailed closed to American destroyer in an "unsafe and unprofessional" manner in South China Sea.

A USA defense official told The Japan Times on Sunday that the Decatur conducted the freedom of navigation operation under the right of "innocent passage". Beijing, in turn, has cautioned Washington that it should reconsider or prepare to face the "consequences".

It confirmed a Chinese missile destroyer was immediately deployed to identify the U.S. warship and drive it away.

"As we have for decades, our forces will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere worldwide law allows".

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Reuters reported on Sunday that China canceled a security meeting with Mattis that had been planned for October. Since then, China has engaged in numerous unsafe incidents against usa surveillance planes, while generally downplaying the danger they posed afterwards.

"We strongly urge the USA side to immediately correct its mistake and stop such provocative actions to avoid undermining China-US relations and regional peace and stability". China called the USA ship's presence a "threat" and said the Chinese ship was sent there to tell them to leave.

The movement of the U.S. naval ships and aircraft through the area has increased since President Donald Trump took the office.

"They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade", Trump said.

Beijing last month refused a USA warship entry to Hong Kong, and its top naval officer canceled a high-level meeting with his US counterpart.

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