Sunday, September 24, 2023

China Defends Warship’s ‘Unsafe’ Move Against U.S. Vessel

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China’s defense minister remained defiant in the face of pressure from the United States Sunday, defending the country’s decision to sail one of its warships directly across the path of a U.S. destroyer in the Taiwan Strait over the weekend. The two ships came within 150 yards of each other Saturday, prompting outrage from U.S. officials describing the move by China as “unsafe.” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the Shangri-La Dialogue–a diplomatic gathering–that America would not “flinch in the face of bullying or coercion.” But just a day later at the same event, Gen. Li Shangfu said China would not allow U.S. ships claiming “innocent passage” to get too comfortable. “We must prevent attempts that try to use those freedom of navigation (patrols), that innocent passage, to exercise hegemony of navigation.”

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