Chinese Intercept US Destroyer in South China Sea

05 October, 2018, 00:09 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • ‘Maneuvered to prevent collision’: Chinese destroyer chases USS Decatur in South China Sea

The USS Decatur guided-missile destroyer was conducting what the military calls a "freedom of navigation operation" Sunday, September 30, when it passed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson reefs in the remote Spratly Islands.

China on Tuesday expressed its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the United States warship sailing near the islands and reefs claimed by it in the South China Sea (SCS).

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.

The American USS Decatur had to change its course when Chinese Luyang destroyer came within 45 yards of USS Decatur.

On Monday, U.S. Pacific Fleet Spokesman Lt. Cmdr.

Although the USA takes no position on the competing claims, its navy regularly carries out freedom of navigation operations - known as "FONOPs" - by sending warships and aircraft near disputed waters to demonstrate the right to travel through what it considers global waters and airspace.

As we reported last week, US Air Force B-52 heavy long-range bombers flew through both the East and South China Sea.


United States officials are now furious as well, both because they intend to keep sailing past those islands to spite China, and because they say China's ship was "unsafe" in getting so close to them, forcing the USS Decatur to move to prevent a collision. A US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Mattis was no longer going to China.

Wu explained that a Chinese Navy vessel carried out identification and verification procedures in accordance with law and warned the U.S. vessel off. Washington says it conducts these operations throughout the world, though Beijing remains sensitive about them and has at times labeled them "provocations". Xi, who told President Barack Obama in 2015 that he would not militarize the artificial islands, has now clearly broken his promise as Chinese military bases, runways, and even nuclear plants, in global, Vietnamese, and Philippine territory continue to spring up monthly on the man-made land.

"As we have for decades, our forces will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere global law allows".

However, the US disagrees with this version of events and claims a much more sinister meeting occurred, with US Navy officials calling the manoeuvre "unsafe and unprofessional". "Intra- and extra-regional powers, including the U.S., Japan, India and others, want to strongly signal to China that their outright rejection of worldwide law and assertive behavior in the South and East China seas will not go unchallenged by the global community".

A trade war launched by Trump has infuriated Beijing, as did his authorization of a $1.3-billion arms sale to Taiwan, which China considers a rebel province. US-Chinese relations have been strained on multiple levels since Donald Trump became president in 2017.

She said that such U.S. moves are against the common will of countries in the region and the basic global norms, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

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