US Navy Releases Photos, Video of Chinese Warship Harassing American Destroyer In the Taiwan Strait

Photo Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard / U.S. Navy
Photo Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard / U.S. Navy

The US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) has released photos and video of a Chinese warship performing dangerous maneuvers near the USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) while the vessel was transiting through the Taiwan Strait. Officials from both countries have commented on the near-miss, each blaming the other for the recent escalation of tensions between China and the United States.

USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) returning to port
USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) returning to port after a six-month deployment, October 2013. (Photo Credit: MC2 Sean Furey / U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

In a video released by the US Navy, Chung-Hoon and the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Montréal (FFH-336) are seen transiting through the Taiwan Strait when the People’s Liberation Army (Navy) guided-destroyer Luyang III (DDG-132) overtakes Chung-Hoon on her port side and cuts the vessel off at the bow, coming within 150 yards.

According to Global News, the Chinese crew told the American Aegis destroyer to move or there’d be a collision, to which Chung-Hoon responded by telling the warship to stay clear. Ultimately, the latter had to slow down to 10 knots and alter course.

“During the transit, PLA(N) LUYANG III DDG 132 (PRC LY 132) executed maneuvers in an unsafe manner in the vicinity of Chung-Hoon,” USINDOPACOM said in an official statement. “The PRC LY 132 overtook Chung-Hoon on their port side and crossed their bow at 150 yards. Chung-Hoon maintained course and slowed to 10 kts to avoid a collision.”

According to the statement, the warship continued to act aggressively toward the American destroyer. “The PRC LY 132 crossed Chung-Hoon‘s bow a second time starboard to port at 2,000 yards and remained off Chung-Hoon‘s port bow. The LY 132‘s closest point of approach was 150 yards and its actions violated the maritime ‘Rules of the Road’ of safe passage in international waters.”

Luyang III (DDG-132) transiting near the USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) in the Taiwan Strait
Luyang III (DDG-132) performing maneuvers near the USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) in the Taiwan Strait, June 2023. (Photo Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard / U.S. Navy)

Chung-Hoon and Montréal had been sailing together in the South China Sea for just under a week prior to entering the Taiwan Strait. According to Global News, which has journalists onboard the Canadian frigate, Chinese ships could be seen shadowing the convoy on and off throughout the journey.

The incident occurred less than a week after a Sheyang J-16, operated by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, flew within 400 feet of the nose of a US Air Force-flown Boeing RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft.

HMCS Montréal (FFH-336) leaving port
HMCS Montréal (FFH-336) leaving Glasgow to begin the Joint Warrior 17/2 exercise, October 2017. (Photo Credit: Mark Harkin / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

In his first public address to the international community since taking office in March 2023, Defense Minister Gen. Li Shangfu told the annual Shangri-La Dialogue summit in Singapore that China “must prevent attempts that try to use those freedom of navigation [patrols], that innocent passage, to exercise hegemony of navigation.”

Two separate Chinese officials have also commented on the incident between Luyang III and Chung-Hoon in the Taiwan Strait. In an interview with Global News, a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Canada said the US Navy and Royal Canadian Navy ships had “hyped (the sailing) up publicly,” adding that the People’s Liberation Army’s monitoring of the voyage had been lawful and professional.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, echoed these sentiments, saying at a press conference, “The measures taken by the Chinese military are completely reasonable, legitimate, and professional and safe. The US had caused trouble and provocation first, while China dealt with it in accordance with the law and regulations afterwards.”

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, also speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue, said the US government wouldn’t “flinch in the face of bullying or coercion” when it came to China, adding that vessels and aircraft will continue to travel through the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, as they are international waters.

More from us: Archaeologists Uncover Hoard of Coins Belonging to Fearsome Ancient Roman Legion

The last time the US and Canada performed a joint-passage through the Taiwan Strait was in September 2022.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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