TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Ships from the U.S. and Canadian navies made a joint transit through the Taiwan Strait on Saturday (June 3), as the annual Shangri-La Defense Forum was taking place in Singapore.
It was also reported that a Chinese naval ship harassed the USS Chung-Hoon and the HMCS Montreal during their transit, even threatening a collision with the U.S. ship. A Canadian reporter onboard the HMCS Montreal recorded the encounter, in which the Chinese vessel sped towards the bow of the USS Chun-Hoon, reported UDN.
The PLAN vessel came within 160 yards of the U.S. naval ship and forced the USS Chung-Hoon to quickly alter course to avoid a collision. Video of the incident can be viewed below.
〔錯誤字元無法儲存〕 Video: A Chinese warship came within 150 yards of hitting American destroyer USS Chung-Hoon.— Ian Ellis (@ianellisjones) June 3, 2023
Embarked journalists captured the moment on video & witnessed the near collision.
"The fact this was announced over the radio prior to doing it clearly indicated it was intentional." pic.twitter.com/cuksOabO15
The encounter took place while military leaders of all three nations were in Singapore for the Shangri-la Defense Forum. On Saturday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin addressed the forum and said the U.S. does “not seek conflict or confrontation. But we will not flinch in the face of bullying or coercion.”
On Sunday (June 4), China’s Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu (李尚福) spoke at the forum and commented directly on Saturday’s incident in the Taiwan Strait. Li accused the U.S. of “provocation” in the region, and claimed the U.S. is practicing “hegemony of navigation in an effort to contain China,” reported the Telegraph.
“As the lyrics of a well-known Chinese song go; when friends visit us, we will welcome them with fine wine. When jackals or wolves come, we will face them with shotguns,” Li said during his speech.
On Taiwan, Li reiterated that China is prepared to attack Taiwan if Beijing chooses to do so. He said “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will not hesitate for a second. We will fear no opponent and resolutely safeguard our national sovereignty and territorial integrity regardless of any cost.” Two days earlier, Li expressed concerns that international support for Taiwan is increasing.
On Sunday, a spokesperson for the Pentagon who was also at the forum in Singapore expressed concern about “the PLA’s increasingly risky and coercive activities in the region.” In reference to Saturday’s incident in the Taiwan Strait, the Pentagon said the Chinese vessel engaged in an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver.”
In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the USS Chung-Hoon observes a Chinese navy ship conduct what it called an "unsafe” Chinese maneuver in the Taiwan Strait, Saturday, June 3, 2023, in which the Chinese navy ship cut sharply across the path of the American destroyer, forcing the U.S. ship to slow to avoid a collision. (AP photo)