China Places Country Dangerously Close To US Warship

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by Caitlin Johnstone, Caitlin Johnstone:

The US military has released video footage of a Chinese navy ship cutting across the path of an American Destroyer in the Taiwan Strait over the weekend, reportedly forcing the US vessel to slow down to avoid a collision.

statement on the incident from US Indo-Pacific Command says the Chinese ship “executed maneuvers in an unsafe manner” in the presence of US and Canadian warships during a “routine south to north Taiwan Strait transit” by the naval forces of those nations, coming as close as 150 yards from the American vessel.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking: what is a Chinese navy vessel doing in the Taiwan Strait, right where US and Canadian warships are peacefully conducting routine navigation exercises?

Well I don’t know if this news will be as shocking to you as it is to me, but it turns out that China has somehow managed to place its country immediately adjacent to the Taiwan Strait, and is now only 100 miles from Taiwan itself. This narrow channel of water was the only space the US and Canadian navies were given to travel through, placing them dangerously close to Chinese warships, and to the country of China.

China has yet to issue a formal apology for menacing the US navy with the unsafe maneuverings of both its battleship and its geographical location.

Noting in its statement that it was acting “in accordance with international law” at the time of the incident, US Indo-Pacific Command says that its transit “demonstrates the combined U.S.-Canadian commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” adding that the US military “flies, sails, and operates safely and responsibly anywhere international law allows.”

Which is of course true. These are international waters after all, and the Chinese navy should therefore stay out of the way of US military vessels traveling through them, just as the US navy would stay out of the way of Chinese military forces traveling a few miles off the coast of California or transiting between the islands of Hawaii. The US is only asking for the same freedom of navigation it would afford anyone else.

We saw another incident of China’s aggressive and dangerous terrestrial placement on the 26th of May, when a US spy plane was buzzed by a Chinese fighter jet during peaceful surveillance operations over the South China Sea. A statement by US Indo-Pacific Command called the incident “an unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” which interrupted the “safe and routine operations” of the spy plane.

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