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.
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.”
South China Sea CRISIS: US issues chilling warning to Beijing
If you don’t change course you will suffer consequences
Chinese naval commander
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”.