Chinese warship nearly hits U.S. destroyer in Taiwan Strait during joint Canada-U.S. missionBy Mackenzie Gray
June 3, 2023 9:07 am
A Chinese warship came within 150 yards of hitting American destroyer USS Chung-Hoon, during a rare joint Canada-U.S. mission sailing through the Taiwan Strait, the latest aggressive military move from Beijing in the South China Sea.
A People’s Liberation Navy ship, picked up considerable speed and cut in front of the bow of the Chung-Hoon, a maneuver HMCS Montreal’s commander, Capt. Paul Mountford, called “not professional.”
When the Chinese vessel altered their course, Mountford says they called the American ship and told them to move or there would be a collision. The Americans responded by asking the Chinese to stay clear of the ship, but the Chung-Hoon ultimately needed to alter course and slow down to avoid a crash.
Mountford believes the incident was ”clearly instigated by the Chinese.”
“The fact this was announced over the radio prior to doing it, clearly indicated this was intentional.”
The Chung-Hoon and Montreal have been sailing together in the South China Sea for nearly a week prior to entering the Taiwan Strait. Global News has seen Chinese warships shadowing the Canadian vessel on multiple occasions, during its transit.
The Chinese did not attempt a similar maneuver on HMCS Montreal but one of the two war ships that was in the area, did sail within 1,000 yards of the Canadian ship, a distance that Mountford believed was safe.
The Chinese told both the Canadian and American ships over radio systems, that they are entering Chinese territory, despite the joint mission taking place in internationally recognized waters, according to Mountford.
“I am hoping that is an isolated incident that won’t happen again for us, because we have international law on our side,” Mountford told Global News. “This is international waters.”
Canada’s defence minister, Anita Anand, had just finished participating in a security summit in Singapore when she learned of the incident in the Strait of Taiwan.
The summit was attended by both U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and China’s Defence Minister Li Shangfu.
Anand said neither Canada nor its allies would be deterred from sailing in international waters.
“Canada will continue to sail where international law allows, including the Strait, the South China Sea,” Anand said in an interview from Singapore.
“And really, our overall goal is to increase the peace and stability of this region. And that’s why we are going to continue to see more of Canada in this region as set out in our Indo-Pacific strategy. We’ve already seen unsafe intercepts and we have addressed those appropriately with China in terms of our RCAF pilots. Actors in this region must engage responsibly, and that’s the bottom line.”
Chinese warship nearly hits U.S. destroyer in Taiwan Strait during joint Canada-U.S. mission - National | Globalnews.ca
Exclusive video by Global News captured the moment the Chinese warship came close to hitting the American destroyer.