New US Navy video clearly shows Chinese warship cutting off a US destroyer during 'unsafe' encounter in the Taiwan Strait

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) observes PLA(N) LUYANG III DDG 132 (PRC LY 132) execute maneuvers in an unsafe manner while conducting a routine south to north Taiwan Strait transit alongside the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal (FFG 336), June 3.
  • A new video, clearer than an earlier one, of a close call between US and Chinese destroyers in the Taiwan Strait has come out.

  • The US Navy video shows the Chinese ship cutting off the US vessel.

  • This incident follows another in the air in which a Chinese fighter jet flew directly in front of a US plane.

The US Navy's 7th Fleet released a video late Sunday night showing a Chinese warship clearly cutting off an American destroyer during an incident deemed "unsafe" by the sea service.

The video captures an incident from the day before in which the Chinese Type 052D destroyer Suzhou, as US Indo-Pacific Command described it, "executed maneuvers in an unsafe manner" around the US Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Chung-Hoon in the Taiwan Strait, overtaking it on its port side and then cutting across the front of the ship.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy vessel crossed the bow of the American ship at 150 yards, forcing it to slow "to avoid collision," the US military said in a statement.

The newly released video, which was taken aboard the Chung-Hoon, follows the release of one from an embarked journalist taken at a distance from the deck of another vessel, the nearby Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal.

Retired US Navy Adm. James Stavridis, a former commander of the American destroyer USS Barry, wrote on Twitter that "as a former sea captain of a similar US destroyer, it almost made my heart stop to watch this video."

"This is wildly unprofessional and provocative behavior on the part of the Chinese Navy," he said. "Wars start with incidents like this. Shame on the PLA Navy."

In the latest video of the incident, a sailor aboard the US warship can be heard radioing something about how efforts to "limit freedom of navigation" are unlawful, though it is difficult to make out the entire message due to wind noise.

American and Chinese naval vessels have had other close calls like this in the past, such as when a Chinese destroyer sailed dangerously close to the US destroyer USS Decatur near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea five years ago.

More recently, the US and Chinese militaries had an "unprofessional" encounter in the air.

Last last month, a Chinese pilot operating a J-16 fighter jet performed an "unnecessarily aggressive maneuver" near a US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft, crossing directly in front of the US plane in international airspace over the contested South China Sea.

Responding to US accusations following the latest incident, the Chinese foreign ministry said Monday that "the US made provocations first and China responded by handling" it, further arguing that "the actions taken by the Chinese military are completely justified, lawful, safe and professional."

A ministry spokesperson added that "the US that should reflect on and correct its wrongdoing."

The latest incident occurred as top defense officials from around the world met in Singapore. In a speech, China's new defense minister, Gen. Li Shangfu, argued that the best way to avoid situations like this is to stay away.

"What's the point of going there?" he said. "In China we always say, 'Mind your own business.'"

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, on the other hand, advocated for the US position of a "free, open, and secure Indo-Pacific within a world of rules and rights," a position reflected in INDOPACOM's statement over the weekend that the "US military flies, sails, and operates safely and responsibly anywhere international law allows."

US and Chinese officials have been consistently talking past one another as tensions remain high. Though Austin and Li shook hands at the event in Singapore, there was no dialogue between the two defense chiefs, and as Austin said, "a cordial handshake over dinner is no substitute for a substantive engagement."

Read the original article on Business Insider