Report: Chinese Warship Harasses U.S. Destroyer in Taiwan Strait Transit – USNI News

A People’s Liberation Army Navy warship cut across the bow of a U.S. guided-missile destroyer on Saturday while it was transiting the Taiwan Strait, according to a report from embarked journalists.

USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) and HMCS Montreal (FFH-336) were transiting the strait when a PLAN warship cut across the bow of Chung-Hoonaccording to a report from Canadian outlet Global News.

According to their report, a Chinese warship made a course to cut across the bow of the American destroyer and were advised over radio by the U.S. crew to alter course to avoid a collision. Montreal’s commander, Capt. Paul Mountford, called the move unprofessional. The Chinese warship came within a 150 yards of the U.S. ship.

Mountford told Global News 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,” he said.

In an earlier statement, U.S. 7th Fleet said: “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. … Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region where aircraft and ships of all nations may fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.” 

The last Canadian-U.S. transit of the Taiwan Strait occurred In September with USS Higgins (DDG-76) and HMCS Vancouver (FFH-331). Chung-Hoon, part of Destroyer Squadron 9 and assigned to the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, transited the strait in January.

As of this posting, Chinese officials have not commented on the transit performed by Chung-Hoon and Montreal, but have previously called unannounced warship sail through the 95-nautical-mile wide strait between Taiwan and mainland China provocative.

Following former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) trip to Taiwan in August, Chinese officials called on the U.S. to stop sending warships through the strait.

“I do call on our American colleagues to refrain, to exercise restraint, not to do anything to escalate the tension. So if there’s any moves damaging China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, so China will respond. China will respond.” China ambassador to the U.S. Qin Gang said last year, reported Time.

Following the late April transit of USS Milius (DDG-69), People’s Liberation Army officials said Chinese ships trailed the destroyer and the PLA “will always stay on high alert and resolutely safeguard China’s national sovereignty and security and regional peace and stability.”

The transit comes as senior defense officials from the region and the U.S. are meeting in Singapore for the annual Shangri-La dialogue.

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