China warship ‘followed protocol’ in stand-off: officials


BEIJING: A Chinese warship “followed protocol” during an “encounter” with a US naval vessel, the defense ministry said on Wednesday in Beijing’s first official confirmation of what the US military described as a near-collision.

The USS Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser, was forced to maneuver to avoid a collision with the Chinese ship that had crossed directly in front of it and halted, according to naval officers and defense officials in the US.

Following initial reports Sunday about the incident in the South China Sea on December 5, Chinese state media said Monday that the US warship had “posed a threat”.

Meanwhile, foreign ministry officials refused to comment directly and referred questions to the defense ministry. It responded Wednesday, saying the Chinese vessel was carrying out a routine patrol before it met the US ship.

“During the encounter, the Chinese naval vessel strictly followed protocol and handled [the incident]appropriately,” added the short statement posted on the ministry’s website.

The statement also said the two defense departments “communicated effectively” during the incident. Some media reports about it were incorrect, it added, without giving details.

Beijing claims almost the whole of the South China Sea, even areas near the coasts of other littoral states.

The standoff underscored tensions that escalated after Beijing last month declared an expanded air defense identification zone in the East China Sea.



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  1. Given the history of what China is doing this days, intentionally crossed in front of the USS COWPENS. if the Chinese vessel’s intention was not contrived, why the said vessel stopped in front of the USS COWPENS? if not to create a situation to send a message to the Americans that they own South China Sea, so keep out. If they did this to the Americans, can you imagine what they can do to you ASIAN neighbors? be vigilant and report any bad incident that happen among you against the bully to your ASEAN organization, then to the UN. How I wish China can change, and be a good neighbor to all, and live accordingly with the prescribed UN mandated rules of the sea and air. May God have mercy.