WW3: China fires furious ‘CONSEQUENCES’ warning to US in South China Sea warship FACE-OFF

Monday, November 5, 2018
By Paul Martin

A CHINESE naval commander warned a US warship those on board would “suffer consequences” if it did not change course in the run-up to a near-miss in the South China Sea, according to military documents obtained by the MoD.

By SIMON OSBORNE
Express.co.uk
Mon, Nov 5, 2018

The Luyang destroyer issued the verbal warning to the USS Decatur seconds before the Chinese ship passed 45 yards from the vessel in a manoeuvre Washington called “unsafe and unprofessional”.

According to a timeline obtained from defence official in London, the Chinese commander told his US Navy counterpart: “You are on a dangerous course.

“If you don’t change course you will suffer consequences.”

According to the transcript the US vessel responded by saying: “We are conducting innocent passage.”

US Pacific Fleet officials complained the “unsafe and unprofessional manoeuvre” by the Chinese destroyer forced its vessel to change course to avoid a collision.

They insisted the USS Decatur was deployed on a “freedom of navigation” patrol near the Spratly Islands in a disputed region of the South China Sea at the time of the clash on September 30.

China insists the US vessel illegally entered Chinese waters and described its actions as provocative.

A Beijing defence ministry official defended the crew of the Luyang, saying they “took quick action and made checks against the US vessel in accordance with the law, and warned it to leave the waters”.

Bill Hayton, an associate fellow with the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House in London, said the Chinese actions may have been a deliberate decision to “raise the level of antagonism”.

He said: “To my knowledge, this is the first time we’ve had a direct threat to an American warship with that kind of language.

“In the past, it just had language about ‘you are entering Chinese waters, keep away’ or something like that.

“This, I think, is the first time we’ve had the idea of ‘suffering consequences’. So that does seem to be an increased level of intimidation.”

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