American and Chinese warships have “nearly collided” after an aggressive manoeuvre by a Chinese captain in the South China Sea.
America’s ridiculously named AEGIS cruiser the USS Cowpens was observing China’s hand-me-down carrier the Liaoning as it sailed through the South China Sea (virtually all of which is the subject of expansive and highly contested claims by China).
One of the vessels screening the Chinese carrier, described as an amphibious assault ship, sailed towards the US vessel and cut across its path.
The move came brought the ship within several hundred metres of the Cowpens and forced it to make an emergency stop to avoid a potential collision.
Although the incident actually happened on the 5th of December as Sino-American tensions raged higher still as a result of China’s new ADIZ, the US apparently declined to make it public and the matter only came to light as a result of a leak by a US defence official.
The US official called the tactic “particularly aggressive” and “unhelpful in trying to increase cooperation between the two navies.”
China has not commented on the matter.