03 October 2018
Leaked aerial photos taken by the US Navy show how close a Chinese destroyer came to colliding with an American warship during a tense face-off in the disputed South China Sea.
The near-miss occurred on Sunday while the American ship was performing a “freedom of navigation” operation, sailing close to the China-claimed Gaven Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands.
According to the US Navy, the Chinese destroyer moved within 41 metres of the USS Decatur and the two nearly collided.
Four images of the incident were first posted by blog site gCaptain. Their authenticity was confirmed to CNN by three unnamed US officials.
The images show that the USS Decatur (DDG-73), an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, was forced to manoeuvre out of the way to avoid a collision with the Chinese warship, reportedly the Lanzhou (170) – a Type 052C Luyang-II class guided-missile destroyer.
… Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said China’s actions in the recent stand-off was a contravention of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, a non-binding agreement between China and the US reached in 2014 to prevent miscalculations and unanticipated escalations of incidents.
“Conducting dangerous, close proximity manoeuvres like this does go against the spirit of promoting safety in the interactions between operational forces at sea,” Koh said.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 04/10/2018