Chinese destroyer sails extremely close to U.S. warship

Chinese destroyer sails extremely close to U.S. warship

Chinese destroyer sails extremely close to U.S. warship

Carl Schuster, a former US Navy captain who spent 12 years at sea, explained to CNN that the close proximity of the two warships was of major concern.

The incident occurred amid growing tensions over tariffs and sanctions - and as the Decatur conducted a "freedom of navigation operation" in the disputed, strategic waterway, a Defense Department official told NBC News.

The Chinese navy's actions forced the Decatur to maneuver to avoid a collision, a spokesman for the Pacific Fleet, Capt. Charlie Brown, said in a statement.

Beijing has expressed anger over a US Navy destroyer sailing within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, while Washington has claimed the ship was acting under a freedom of navigation operation. "Captains get very nervous when ships get closer than 1,000 yards (915 metres)", said Schuster, who now lectures at Hawaii Pacific University.

The U.S. carries out freedom of navigation operations by sending Navy ships and aircraft near disputed waters to demonstrate the right to travel through what it considers global waters and airspace.

The ministry said it strongly urged the U.S. to stop its "provocative" actions.

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

The Pentagon accused the Chinese navy of using "an unsafe and unprofessional maneuver" when one of its destroyers challenged a USA destroyer, the USS Decatur, as it sailed Sunday near one of the disputed islets that China claims in the Spratly archipelago.

US warships often maneuver in close formation, but their movements are closely coordinated, following standardized and procedures and principles, and the maneuvering ships rarely have less than 1,000 yards between them.

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According to another USA official, 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.

Gorman said that the US would "continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere worldwide law allows".

Wu explained that a Chinese Navy vessel carried out identification and verification procedures in accordance with law and warned the United States vessel off.

Picture courtesy of the US Navy.

Then Beijing called off a security meeting with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Monday that had been scheduled for October, the New York Times reported.

This incident comes amid increasing tension between China and the US. US-Chinese relations have been strained on multiple levels since Donald Trump became president in 2017.

Those comments came after Trump accused China of meddling in the upcoming United States elections.

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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