CLOSE CALL: 'Unsafe' Chinese Destroyer Sails 'WITHIN FEET' of US Warship

The USS Decatur was allegedly forced to manoeuvre to avoid a collision with a Chinese warship

Camera Icon The USS Decatur was allegedly forced to manoeuvre to avoid a collision with a Chinese warship

The plan would see planes and ships passing close to Chinese-claimed waters in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait in a freedom of navigation operation, CNN reported, citing several unnamed United States defence officials.

"Despite such reckless harassment, the United States Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows and our national interests demand". The US disregard of China's claims over the disputed waters, through which trillions of dollars-worth of trade passes annually, is being demonstrated amid unprecedented tensions between the world's two largest economies.

The Americans reported the Chinese ship conducted a series of "aggressive" manoeuvres while warning the Decatur to get out of the area.

But Pence will say in his speech that one USA company was pressured by Beijing to complain about the tariffs or face a restriction on its business licence in China.

The USS Decatur was doing what the american military calls "operation for freedom of navigation" when it happened less than 12 nautical miles from reefs Gaven and Johnson, in the archipelago of the Spratleys.

"They do not want me, or us, to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade", Trump said, later referencing as evidence an advertising insert in The Des Moines Register paid for by Chinese government-affiliated entities. Images released by the U.S. Navy appear to show the Chinese warship pulling in front of USS Decatur, which veered off to avoid a crash.

China claims sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea and has built islands on reefs and equipped them with military facilities such as airstrips, radar domes and missile systems. Pacific Fleet said the incident, which occurred near the Gaven Reef in the South China Sea, involved a Chinese Luyang class destroyer. The PRC destroyer approached within 45 yards of DECATUR's bow, after which DECATUR maneuvered to prevent a collision.

Nonetheless, Secretary of Defense James Mattis is downplaying the rising tensions between the USA and China, despite the spate of recent incidents and the cancellation of the U.S.

Mr. Pence will report that the USA intelligence community has concluded that China is targeting state and local government and officials to exploit divisions between federal and local policy, such as tariffs.

The move follows a further deterioration of relations between the USA and China.

The Chinese military will fulfill its defense responsibility to safeguard its sovereignty and security as well as maintain regional peace and stability.

Mattis this week acknowledged "tension points" between the US and China, but told reporters he did not "see it getting worse". "But it also seems to reflect a growing willingness on the part of Beijing to test the Americans in the south China sea".

Military exchanges between the countries, including port calls, were temporarily suspended following a mid-air collision between a U.S. EP-3 spy plane and Chinese fighter in 2001 off the south China coast that sparked a major diplomatic row. However, in 2016, an worldwide tribunal ruled against China's territorial claims in the Spratly Islands - a ruling the country rejected.

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