Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Photos show how close Chinese warship came to colliding with U.S. destroyer

Photos show how close Chinese warship came to colliding with U.S. destroyer

The USS Decatur, a guided-missile destroyer, was conducting a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea, a us defense official told Fox News in a statement. "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 bitter trade dispute between China and the increasingly spilling into the military domain, with a risky incident in the South China Sea highlighting the dangers of souring relations.

But Pence will say in his speech that one USA company was pressured by Beijing to complain about the tariffs or face a restriction on its business licence in China.

"A (People's Republic of China) Luyang destroyer approached USS Decatur in an unsafe and unprofessional maneuver in the vicinity of Gaven Reef in the South China Sea", Capt. Charles Brown, a spokesman for US Pacific Fleet, told CNN in a statement confirming the incident.

In a speech that also takes aim at China's controversial use of huge loans to exert influence in developing countries, Pence will cite a recent near-miss between a United States destroyer and Chinese vessel in the South China Sea as a sign of "reckless harassment" in the region.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it.

"The PRC destroyer approached within 45 yards of DECATUR's bow, after which DECATUR maneuvered to prevent a collision", said Brown.

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

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to China on Monday, Chinese State Television reported on Wednesday, citing a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, with the two countries embroiled in an escalating trade war.

USA defense officials told The Associated Press on Monday that Mattis has dropped plans to visit China amid rising tensions between Beijing and Washington.

"The close encounter between the Chinese destroyer and the USS Decatur was the closest one yet", Timothy Heath, senior global defense research analyst at the RAND Corporation, told AFP.

'It seems to me that this was deliberate and could have been sanctioned by higher levels as part of the retaliatory moves by China in recent times'.

The Chinese government claims the rights to the region and harshly opposes the entry of any foreign ships into the waterway without permission from Beijing. He was to meet in October in Beijing with his counterpart Wei Fenghe to discussions focused on security, but the chinese general was not made available.

Gaven Reef is one of seven Chinese-claimed outposts in the Spratlys Archipelago. "China tensions. But it also appears to reflect a growing willingness by Beijing to test the Americans in the South China Sea", he added.

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