US And Chinese Warships Almost Collide In South China Sea

April FrancisOct 05, 2018

China claims most of the strategic waterway.

After the Chinese ship came within 45 yards (41 metres) of Decatur's bow it moved to prevent a collision, the report said.

The close encounter that the U.S. Navy characterized as "unsafe and unprofessional" comes at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and China.

The USS Decatur was in the region conducting a so-called "freedom of navigation operation", which the US periodically undertakes as a display to China that Beijing's claim to sovereignty over the waters and islands in the area has not been internationally recognised. The operations are meant to enforce the right of free passage in worldwide waters under global law.

What began in 2014 as an apparent bid to steal neighboring nations' rich oil fields in the archipelagos between The Philippians and Vietnam, has almost reached a breaking point. Different parts of the area are also claimed by Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Earlier last week China's Defense Ministry slammed the U.S. over the flyover of B-52 long-range strategic bombers over the South China Sea, calling it a "provocation". China has rejected the worldwide tribunal's ruling.

China -he said- has undisputable sovereignty over those territories and adjacent waters and will take the necessary measures to protect its security.

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Cozzolino declined to give a comment to The New York Times regarding the report, and has not released any statement on the matter. In a follow-up tweet , the Yale Law Schooler lecturer wrote: "Those are fundamental values we try to instill in our students".

A Chinese warship sailed within yards of a U.S. Navy destroyer in an "aggressive maneuver" that risked collision, a U.S. official said.

It added: "China's military is resolutely opposed to this".

US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress heavy long-range bombers flew through both the East Sea and the South China Sea last week. Chinese officials confirmed it sent the Luoyang to drive the USS Decatur away and urged the U.S.to stop its "provocative" actions. In response to the sanctions, China summoned the American ambassador and defence attache to deliver a protest, and recalled its navy commander from a us trip. China's ship forced the U.S. ship to turn, which was the whole point of the interception, to chase the USS Decatur out of what China considers their territorial waters.

The Decatur had been conducting what the American military calls freedom of navigation operations, or missions to promote worldwide lawfulness in oceanic territory claimed by multiple countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Washington says it conducts these operations throughout the world, though Beijing remains sensitive about them and has at times labeled them "provocations".

Naval academics theorize the collisions that killed 16 United States sailors have the Chinese navy doubting U.S. seamanship skills and giving it confidence to "intimidate" USA ship captains, Schuster said. Pacific Fleet spokesperson Commander Nate Christensen said.

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

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