Photos show how close Chinese warship came to colliding with US destroyer

The USS Decatur narrowly avoids a collision with a Chinese warship

The USS Decatur narrowly avoids a collision with a Chinese warship. Credit U.S. Navy

"The Chinese military will resolutely perform its defense duties and continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard our sovereignty and the regional peace and stability", spokesman Wu Qian said.

China claims the rights to most of the strategic waterway and has built man-made islands on reefs and equipped them with airstrips, radar domes and missile systems.

Nonetheless, Secretary of Defense James Mattis is downplaying the rising tensions between the USA and China, despite the spate of recent incidents and the cancellation of the U.S.

Two B-52s flew over the South China Sea last week in what the Pentagon called a routine mission.

Pence will say a Chinese naval vessel came within 45 yards (meters) of the USS Decatur "as it conducted freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea, forcing our ship to quickly maneuver to avoid collision".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to China on Monday, Chinese State Television reported on Wednesday (Oct 3), citing a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, with the two countries embroiled in an escalating trade war. The Decatur was sailing within 12 miles of the reefs, within what would normally be considered territorial waters.

China's Defence Ministry said a Chinese naval ship had been sent to warn the U.S. vessel to leave. In a statement, the Chinese Ministry of Defence said that its ship had "given a warning to leave" to the vessel after it entered the area "without permission". However, in 2016, an global tribunal ruled against China's territorial claims in the Spratly Islands - a ruling the country rejected.

Credit U.S. Navy
Credit U.S. Navy

"With tensions elevated, China seems motivated to risk a possible collision as a means of intimidation". In response, China summoned the American ambassador and defense attache to deliver a protest, and recalled its navy commander from a US trip.

Beijing has blasted the operation of the "freedom of navigation" the american vessel. That has increased the risk of unsafe encounters on the high seas, adding one more irritant to relations that have deteriorated sharply because of the decision by President Donald Trump's administration to to impose tariffs on many imports from China.

The proposal, which comes at a time of heightened tensions between the USA and China, has yet to be approved.

North and South Korean troops began removing some of the land mines planted at their heavily fortified border on October 1, Seoul officials said, in the first implementation of recent agreements aimed at easing their decades-long military standoff.

The Chinese government said the United States had no right to interfere in Chinese military cooperation with Russian Federation.

During this incident, which had provoked a diplomatic crisis major, the pilot chinese had been killed and the spy plane from the usa had made an emergency landing on the chinese island of Hainan.

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