'Aggressive' Chinese destroyer came within 45 yards of United States warship

'Aggressive' Chinese destroyer came within 45 yards of United States warship

The Navy described the encounter Sunday in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea as "an unsafe and unprofessional maneuver".

Aerial photos taken by the US Navy show just how close a US Navy ship came to colliding with a Chinese warship that had challenged the US vessel's presence in the South China Sea.

The United States is one of several countries pushing back against such expansive claims, and the destroyer USS Decatur was conducting a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) to assert the rights of worldwide ships and shipping to pass through the area.

The prime minister said he wanted to see stability and prosperity in the region continue, after reports a Chinese navy destroyer launched a challenge to a U.S. warship.

The operation was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, where Chinese, Japanese and some Southeast Asian navies operate. The operation was conducted to 'uphold the rights and freedoms of all states under worldwide law.

While Beijing did not acknowledge the exact distance its destroyer closed in on its counterpart, or the tactics used to chase it away, both the Foreign Ministry and the DoD slammed the USA for the violation and abuse of the "freedom of navigation" principle on the high seas. Separately, two B-52s also flew over the East China Sea, where China has declared an air defense identification zone and claims uninhabited islands controlled by Japan. "However, FONOPs challenge excessive maritime claims and demonstrate our commitment to uphold the rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all nations under worldwide law", Commander Christensen said.


The US takes no official position on the competing claims by countries for territories located in the South China Sea.

More details are emerging about the near collision between USA and Chinese destroyers last Sunday morning in the South China Sea.

On Wednesday China's Foreign Ministry angrily denied that Beijing had cancelled the second round of a security dialogue with the U.S., and said it was the usa that had postponed Mattis' meeting.

"There's tension points in the relationship, but based on discussions coming out of NY last week and other things that we have coming up, we do not see it getting worse", Mattis told reporters en route to Paris. The ministry gave no details, but based on previous visits by American secretaries of state, he would be likely to meet with China's foreign minister, senior foreign policy advisers and President Xi Jinping. US officials verified the pictures to CNN.

The Chinese military will fulfill its defense responsibility to safeguard its sovereignty and security as well as maintain regional peace and stability. According to ABC News, "the Chinese warship was initially about 500 yards on the Decatur's port side then moved ahead of the Decatur and cut across the American destroyer's bow at a distance of 45 yards (135 feet)".

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