Chinese, US vessels nearly collided during Taiwan Strait joint mission
A Chinese warship nearly hit an American destroyer in the Taiwan Strait in light of a joint US-Canadian mission.
A Chinese warship was around 130 meters away from hitting the American destroyer USS Chung-Hoon during a joint mission of the US and Canadian Navy who were sailing through the Taiwan Strait, Canadian media reported on Saturday.
Canadian news outlet Global News has been aboard the Canadian ship participating in the mission, HMCS Montreal, and witnessed the incident.
The outer claimed that a Chinese People's Liberation Navy ship suddenly sped up and cut in front of the bow of the US Navy Ship, which was called "not professional" by the commander of the Canadian Navy ship.
Captain Paul Mountford claimed said the Chinese vessel altered its course before they told USS Chung-Hoon to move, otherwise there would be a collision, while the US Navy ship asked the Chinese to steer clear of the ship.
"The fact this was announced over the radio prior to doing it, clearly indicated this was intentional," the Canadian Navy captain claimed, saying it was "clearly instigated by the Chinese."
The US and Canadian Navy vessels have been in the Taiwan Strait for a week, with reports saying Chinese warships were seen tailing the Western ships.
Mountford claimed that the ships were in internationally recognized waters, though the Chinese navy informed the joint mission that they were entering Chinese territory.
A US destroyer and a Canadian warship "sailed through" the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, the navies of both countries said, "in a joint mission through the sensitive waterway" that separates Taiwan from China.
The USS Chung-Hoon and the Royal Canadian Navy's HMCS Montreal were "conducting a routine Taiwan Strait transit June 3 (local time) through waters where high-seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law," as per the US 7th Fleet.
"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 US Navy claimed.
In a deliberate provocation, US naval ships frequently sent a naval cruiser through the Taiwan Strait, but it is unprecedented for such a mission to be staged alongside another country's ships.
The last time the US and Canada passed across the strait together was in September 2022.
China has repeatedly decried the "illegal" intrusion of US warships into waters it claims in the South China Sea. However, the US continues to irk China by sailing its warships through the Taiwan Strait and arming Taiwan with billions of dollars worth of weapons.
This is happening as US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu took part in a defense summit in Singapore.
It is worth noting that the US had invited Li to meet on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, but the Pentagon announced that Beijing had declined.