Footage obtained by Global News, shows a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warship cut across the bow of a U.S. guided-missile destroyer on Saturday while it was transiting the Taiwan Strait.
USS Chung Hoon and HMCS Montreal had also been transiting the strait on a rare joint mission when a PLAN warhsip cut across the bow of Chung-Hoon.
According to Global News, the Chinese warship made a course to cut across the destroyer and had been advised over the radio by the U.S. crew to alter course.
The commander of the HMCS Montreal told Global News he believes the incident was ‘clearly instigated by the Chinese.’
The USS Chung Hoon, pictured here, and the HMCS Montreal had been transiting the strait on a mission when a PLAN warhsip cut across the bow of Chung-Hoon.
The UUS Chung-Hoon, pictured here in 2014 as it passes ceremonies honoring the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor
Three military boats from Taiwan’s Amphibious Reconnaissance and Patrol Unit patrol the Matsu Islands on April 9, 2023
While U.S. warships transit the strait around once a month, it is unusual for them to do so with those of other U.S. allies.
The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet said the Chung-Hoon and Canada’s HMCS Montreal conducted a ‘routine’ transit of the strait on Saturday ‘through waters where high-seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law’.
In a statement, the Navy: ‘Chung-Hoon and Montreal’s bilateral transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific.’
The Eastern Theatre Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army said its forces monitored the ships throughout and ‘handled’ the situation in accordance with the law and regulations.
They said: ‘The countries concerned deliberately create incidents in the Taiwan Strait region, deliberately provoke risks, maliciously undermine regional peace and stability, and send the wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.’
The mission took place as the U.S. and Chinese defence chiefs were attending a major regional security summit in Singapore.
At that event, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin rebuked China for refusing to hold military talks, leaving the superpowers deadlocked over Taiwan and territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Ties between the world’s two largest economies are strained over issues ranging from Taiwan and China’s human rights record to military activity in the South China Sea.
A cargo ship sails in the Taiwan Strait as tourists watch from a lighthouse on Pingtan island, the closest point in China to Taiwan
The HMCS Montreal, pictured here in January of 2022, had been operating in the Strait with the U.S. on a joint mission
U.S. Secretary of Defence Austin also vowed this week that Washington would not stand for ‘coercion and bullying’.
He said: ‘To be clear, we do not seek conflict or confrontation.
- The USS Chung-Hoon is in the Arleigh Burke class of guided-missile destroyers.
- Arleigh Burke classified destroyers are larger and more heavily armed than previous classes of cruisers.
- The Chung Hoon is capable of speeds of up to 30 knots and was deployed in 1991
- Armament onboard the vessel include vertical launch missiles, Mark 46 torpedos, surface to air and surface to surface missiles
- Chung-Hoon also has a superstructure built in to accommodate a remote mine hunting system
- The destroyer is also loaded with two helicopters that are packed with Hellfire missiles and torpedos
- On board, the catering team provides 750 meals a day to the crew
- Their on board barber ship is said to cut 250 heads of hair every month and their ship store makes $40,000 in sales each month
‘But we will not flinch in the face of bullying or coercion.’
The US has been expanding its own activities around the Indo-Pacific to counter sweeping territorial claims from China, including regularly sailing through and flying over the Taiwan Strait and in the South China Sea.
Austin continued: ‘We are committed to ensuring that every country can fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.
‘And every country, large or small, must remain free to conduct lawful maritime activities.’
In Singapore, Chinese Lieutenant General Jing Jianfeng, accused Austin of ‘overtly or covertly making false accusations against China’ in his address.
Speaking with reporters after Mr Austin spoke, Mr Jing alleged the US has been ‘deceiving and exploiting’ Asia-Pacific nations to advance its own self-interests to preserve ‘its dominant position’ in the region.
Mr Jing, who took no questions, said that by contrast, ‘China is committed to the region’s development and prosperity’.
The U.S. command for the Indo-Pacific said the Chinese J-16 aircraft flew in front of the nose of the U.S. RC-135 plane earlier last month and forced it to fly through its wake turbulence.
In December, a Chinese military plane came within 10 feet of a U.S. air force aircraft and forced it to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision in international airspace.
The clip released by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command shows a view from the American aircraft’s cockpit.
The Chinese jet is seen approaching the RC-135 and buzzing it with the cockpit visibly shaking as the pilots then watch it fly out of sight.