MANILA, Philippines – Chinese surveillance ships and missile cruisers have increased the frequency of their maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), a senior maritime security official said yesterday.
This came after a Chinese naval vessel came dangerously close to a US warship during a tense incident in the area last week.
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.
China’s amphibious dock ship came less than 500 meters from the American warship, a defense official said.
“This encounter happened in international waters in the South China Sea on Dec. 5,” said the defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity.