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Chinese warship ‘unsafely’ passed US destroyer in Taiwan Strait, military officials say

Chinese warship ‘unsafely’ passed US destroyer in Taiwan Strait, military officials say


WASHINGTON, June 4 (Reuters) – A Chinese warship came within 150 yards (137 yards) of a U.S. destroyer in the Taiwan Strait “in a dangerous manner”, U.S. military officials said , while China accused the United States of having “deliberately caused risks”. ” In the region.

The US and Canadian navies were conducting a joint exercise in the strait, which separates the island of Taiwan and China, on Saturday when the Chinese ship cut in front of the US guided-missile destroyer Chung-Hoon, forcing it to slow down to avoid a collision. , the US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has claimed Taiwan as its territory since the defeated Republic of China government fled to the island in 1949 after losing a civil war to Mao Zedong’s communists. The Taiwanese government says the PRC has never ruled the island and US President Joe Biden has said the US will defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.

China’s military has chastised the United States and Canada for “deliberately causing risk” after the countries’ navies staged a rare joint sail through the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said Canada’s Chung-Hoon and Montreal were on a “routine” transit of the strait when the Chinese ship cut in front of the US ship.

“The Chinese vessel’s closest point of approach was 150 meters away and its actions violated maritime ‘rules of the road’ of safe passage in international waters,” the US command said.

Video footage released by Canadian website Global News showed the close encounter between the ships.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The maritime encounter was the latest close call between the Chinese and American military. On May 26, a Chinese fighter jet carried out an “unnecessarily aggressive” maneuver near a US military aircraft over the South China Sea in international airspace, the US Indo-Pacific Command said on Tuesday. .

Chinese Embassy in Washington spokesman Liu Pengyu did not comment on details of the plane incident, but said the United States has “frequently deployed planes and ships to close reconnaissance of China, which poses a serious danger to China’s national security.” .”

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a pre-recorded interview that aired on CNN on Sunday that the United States seeks to maintain the “stable, cross-strait dynamic” between China and Taiwan and avoid a conflict “which would end up cratering”. the global economy.”

The interview for “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on CNN took place on Friday.

Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu told Asia’s top security summit on Sunday that a conflict with the United States would be an “unbearable disaster” but that his country sought dialogue rather than confrontation.

Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Editing by Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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