Tensions Mount as Chinese and US Ships Nearly Collide

Tensions Mount As Chinese And U.S. Warships Almost Collide

(LibertySociety.com) – Relations with China have been strained for some time, but the tension has certainly increased in recent months. Diplomacy between China and the Biden administration got off to a rocky start when Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s team met with its Chinese counterparts in March 2021 in Alaska. Taking aim at American culture wars, officials made it clear that they would not be taking the United States seriously, signaling a tumultuous relationship ahead. Fast forward to 2023, and the relationship between the two countries has become increasingly tense.

The most recent incident occurred on June 3rd, 2023, when news outlets reported that a Chinese warship nearly collided with a U.S. Navy American destroyer in the Taiwan Strait. A Canadian ship was traveling slightly behind the destroyer, as the two North American nations were conducting a joint exercise. According to reports, the Chinese ship intentionally increased its speed and darted in front of the destroyer, leaving just 150 yards of space between the two ships, which prompted a sharp rebuke from the Navy. Officials stated that the move was an “unsafe interaction,” but Chinese officials have since blamed the United States for provoking the action. 

Li Shangfu, the defense minister for China, blasted the United States in a speech for its actions in the Indo-Pacific, while also stating that a “severe confrontation would be an unbearable disaster for the world.” This close call comes just shortly after another aggressive maneuver from a Chinese fighter jet, which flew directly in front of a United States Air Force aircraft over the South China Sea, forcing it to endure the turbulence from the fighter jet. Shangfu did not hold back in his suggestion for the United States to stay out of what they consider to be their territory, claiming that doing so will prevent problems between the two nations. Bloomberg reported on June 6th, 2023 that Secretary Blinken would be traveling to China in the coming weeks, although no specific information was given regarding the purpose of his trip.

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