China condemns United States for South China Sea freedom of navigation operation

Chinese warship comes within 45 yards of colliding with San Diego-based destroyer

'Aggressive' Chinese destroyer came within 45 yards of US warship

A Chinese destroyer came aggressively close to a U.S. Navy ship in the South China Sea, forcing it to maneuver to prevent a collision, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said October 2, describing an encounter that could worsen tensions between the nations. The encounter Sunday occurred within 12 nautical miles of Gaven Reef, a pair of outcroppings in the sea that China has expanded and fortified with weaponry since 2014.

The close encounter with the Chinese warship occurred as the American destroyer was carrying out a freedom of navigation operation (FONOPs) in the Spratlys, the us said.

Mr. Pence will say that Beijing is employing a "whole-of-government approach" to advance its influence and benefit its interests, employing its power "in more proactive and coercive ways to interfere in the domestic policies and politics of the United States".

Pence will also accuse the Chinese Communist Party of convincing three Latin American nations to sever ties with Taiwan and recognize China.

The Decatur was apparently involved in such "freedom of navigation" operations when Sunday's incident occurred.

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"China's military is resolutely opposed to this", it said.

Beijing and Washington are locked in a trade war in which they have imposed increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on each other's imports.

Beijing called the flights "provocative", but Secretary of Defense James Mattis insisted that the flights would not mean anything if China had not militarised the waterway.

Hua, however, said it was Washington which proposed the postponement of the second round of their Diplomatic and Security Dialogue and refuted recent USA media reports that China had proposed putting off the dialogue.

In response to the sanctions, China summoned the American ambassador and defence attache to deliver a protest, and recalled its navy commander from a U.S. trip. The spokesperson reiterated that China respects and protects the freedom of navigation and over-flight entitled to all countries by global law.

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The Chinese warship moves ahead of its USA counterpart after forcing the United States ship to perform a "radical maneuver", Schuster said.

'It seems to me that this was deliberate and could have been sanctioned by higher levels as part of the retaliatory moves by China in recent times'.

The resource-rich South China Sea is the subject of conflicting and overlapping claims by a number of countries, including China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. China has ignored the ruling, however, and the fortification of seven artificial islands it has built there has made Chinese control of those waters virtually a fait accompli. The crew was detained for 11 days before being released by the chinese authorities.

The encounter could worsen tensions between the nations, already at odds over a trade dispute. In fact, it looks more like 45 feet. "He just wants to ensure that it puts pressure on China as much as possible".

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