Chinese warship's 'unsafe' encounter with USA vessel

Chinese warship's 'unsafe' encounter with USA vessel

The Chinese vessel, according to the USA military, sailed within 45 yards of the United States warshipl, a risky distance given the size and speeds of these ships.

The encounter occurred at a significantly closer distance than one of the last major incidents reported between the two navies.

"The Chinese vessel took quick action and made checks against the USA vessel in accordance with the law, and warned it to leave the waters", it said.

The unsafe incident comes as China and United States are engaged in an increasingly bitter trade war involving punitive tariffs on other's products.

Over the last week, the US and Chinese military relationship has deteriorated as both countries are engaged in a bitter trade dispute.

The USS Decatur travelled within 12 nautical miles of the Gaven and Johnson Reefs on Sunday.

Sovereignty over two largely uninhabited island chains, the Paracels and the Spratlys, is disputed by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Malaysia. Twelve nautical miles is the commonly accepted limit for territorial waters.

Beijing has constructed a series of military outposts throughout the waterway, which includes vital sea lanes through which about $3 trillion in global trade passes each year.

The Decatur had been conducting what the American military calls freedom of navigation operations, or missions to promote global lawfulness in oceanic territory claimed by multiple countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. -China tensions over a broad range of issues. China has rejected the worldwide tribunal's ruling.

"At present, with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN nations, the situation in the South China Sea has stabilized", ministry spokesman Wu Qian said.

The US has accused a Chinese naval ship of conducting "unsafe and unprofessional" manoeuvres when one of its warships entered the waters of the disputed South China Sea.

If markets have been blissfully ignorant of potential fallout from the simmering US-China trade dispute (even if corporate executives are bracing for the worst), just imagine how they would react to the reality of a military confrontation.

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China's defence and foreign ministries each released statements Tuesday sharply criticizing the United States, though not disputing details of the USA accusations involving the Decatur.

China, Hua said, "will take all necessary measures to defend its national sovereignty and security".

During a routine surveillance mission near the Chinese coast, a US Navy EP-3E Aries II spy plane collided with a Chinese F-8 fighter jet that was closely tailing it.

A USA defense official characterized the close encounter as having been of short duration.

The US said its plane was conducting routine operations in worldwide airspace, and called the incident an unsafe intercept.

However, Beijing demands that foreign naval vessels seek its permission before transiting Chinese territorial waters.

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.

The Chinese military too voiced its opposition to the United States ship sailing through the area. The American ship changed course to prevent a collision, Brown said. "The Chinese military resolutely opposes such actions", he said, adding that China respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and overflight in the SCS in accordance with global law, but resolutely opposes any illegal provocation in the name of 'freedom of navigation.' "The Chinese military will fulfil its defence duty and continue to take all necessary measures to firmly safeguard the sovereignty and security of the country, as well as the regional peace and stability", he said.

Sunday's FONOP also came just days after the USA sent nuclear-capable B-52 bombers through the strategic waterway twice during the past week. On Wednesday, the U.S. Air Force flew nuclear-capable bombers near China in the East China Sea, which Beijing called "provocative" despite flying in worldwide airspace.

Amid the increasing tensions, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reportedly canceled his planned trip to China previously scheduled for October. Beijing, in turn, urged Washington to either reconsider the move or prepare to bear "consequences".

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

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