Chinese Warship Aggressively Maneuvered Into Path Of American Destroyer

(Photo by John J. Mike/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
Font Size:

A ship from China’s People’s Liberation Navy (PLN) came within two football fields of colliding with an American destroyer during naval exercises in the South China Sea Saturday, Canada’s Global News reported.

The Chinese ship got as close as approximately 150 yards from the USS Chung-Hoon, an American destroyer participating in joint naval exercises with Canada near Taiwan. Reporters for the Global News were traveling aboard the HMCS Montreal and witnessed the incident.

The PLN ship picked up speed quickly and crossed in front of the Chung-Hoon, radioing the American ship to alter their course or risk a collision. The crew on the Chung-Hoon asked the PLN vessel to change course, but the American boat ended up having to slow down and change course to avoid a crash.

The Chinese warned the American and Canadian ships they were trespassing in Chinese waters, despite both being in internationally-recognized waters. China claims for itself a large swathe of maritime territory in the South China Sea, though this is not recognized by most of the international community.

Captain Paul Mountford, the commander of the Montreal, said the incident was “not professional” and “clearly instigated by the Chinese.” (RELATED: Chinese War Games Simulating Massive Losses For U.S. Aren’t Just Propaganda, Experts Say)

Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said exercises would continue and that they would not be deterred from sailing in international waters by China.

The incident is the latest to stoke tensions between Beijing and Washington, after a Chinese fighter jet buzzed an American spy plane over the South China Sea last week and the Chinese Communist Party rebuffed a meeting invite from American Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. President Joe Biden said more than a week ago tensions with China would “thaw very shortly,” but there have been few signs of that taking place so far.