US publishes video of Taiwan Strait near collision with Chinese ship

Singapore, Jun 5 (EFE).- The United States Navy published a video Monday showing a near collision between an American destroyer and a Chinese warship in the Taiwan Strait.

In the video, apparently taken Sunday from the angle of destroyer USS Chung-Hoon, the Chinese ship is seen practically intercepting the vessel by crossing its path at a previously detailed distance of 137 meters, according to the US and Canada, whose navies were performing joint maneuvers.

Beijing accused Washington of seeking trouble and defended its action, which the US termed as unsafe.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin accused the US of provocation and claimed that China responded in accordance with established norms, which were professional, legal and safe.

Journalists from the Canadian portal Global News aboard the HMCS Montreal ship observed the incident in the Taiwan Strait waters as US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart, Li Shangfu, attended the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, the most important annual security forum in Asia.

Asked about this event, Li said Sunday that “it is not about innocent crossings, but about provocations”, reiterating that China would not renounce force to take Taiwan, a self-governing island Beijing considers a rebel province. Kuomintang nationalists retreated to the island in 1949 after losing the civil war.

Austin said Saturday that, although his country does not seek confrontation, they would take action if threatened, in a similar line to Li.

The US and Canada said they were in international waters when the incident occurred on Saturday, while Beijing said it was in its territorial waters.

What happened revealed the tensions between the two superpowers and the risks of deficiencies in defense communication, without Austin and Li meeting on the margins of the forum despite meeting there for three days.

Beijing had denied Washington’s request for the two to talk in Singapore on Monday, blaming the decision on the US, which sanctioned Li in 2018 after accusing him of buying weapons from the Russian state company Rosoboronexport.

Li said Sunday that he is “open” to communication with the US side, but added that “if there is no mutual respect, the dialogue is not productive.” EFE


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