U.S., Chinese warships come dangerously close
The guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens steams through the Philippine Sea on Nov. 10, 2012.
December 13th, 2013
03:25 PM ET

U.S., Chinese warships come dangerously close

By Barbara Starr

A confrontation between the U.S. and Chinese navies led to a tense moment in the South China Sea, CNN has learned.

The incident last Friday, which was resolved peacefully, was the latest sign of Chinese military aggression in international waters and airspace.

A U.S. Navy warship was forced to come to a sudden stop when a Chinese military ship crossed dangerously close in what sources described as a deliberate maneuver.

No weapons were fired and the incident was resolved.

A senior U.S. Navy official described it as a highly unusual encounter because the Chinese ship came so close to the American vessel, the USS Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser.

Several U.S. military officials confirmed details of the incident, which has just come to light.

The Cowpens was in international waters when one ship from a group of Chinese Navy vessels headed toward it. The Chinese ship failed to stop, even after being warned by radio from the Cowpens that it was getting too close.

According to the Navy official, the Cowpens commanding officer issued orders for an "all stop" when the Chinese ship was less than 500 yards off its bow.

"It is unusual to have to take evasive action at sea to avoid a collision," the official said.

While naval vessels often come close as they are observing each other, the United States sees this incident as one that could have led to a collision because of the time and distance it takes for an American warship to stop.

soundoff (172 Responses)
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  5. Michael

    OK so long as we were in "international waters" I guess this happened off the coast of California or Hawaii?

    January 8, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Reply
    • glennrobert

      If our ship had hit that Chinese ship our Captain's career would have been ruined. A friend believes that "we should never march on Moscow" which makes sense as it has been tried. Mac Arthur wanted to march on Peking but he was senile at that time. Every one who has invaded China has been absorbed. 1.2 billion people demand respect.

      January 9, 2014 at 2:00 am | Reply
  6. A'eron Blackman

    Thank you WHALE WARS for teaching foreign governments what is acceptable HIGH SEAS behavior and NOT international ACTS OF WAR.

    December 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  7. sparks2000

    WW3 between the US and China will effectively be the end of the world as we know it-–the economy will be utterly destroyed as debts will be unforgiven and money will be become worthless.Save in the banks all you want.After WW2,Germans would bring barrels of money into stores to get a loaf of bread.Will it be much different here?

    December 19, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      It will be in one way, sparks2000. After WW3, we'll all eventually parish, if not from the radiation of a nuclear bomb, then from slow starvation since all the livestock and vegetation will have been destroyed by the radiation. Anyone with half a brain knows that such a war is completely a no win proposition!!!

      December 19, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
      • open your eyes

        no just extermination from the government we are expendable

        January 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
    • open your eyes

      it is already a crap economy and we are trillions of dollars in debt if the U.S and Chinese we would be wiped of the map. the Government doesn't care about you or me only their own personal agenda Fema camps are here for that purpose for the citizen of the U.S why NWO one government control

      January 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • Neil

      Um, I believe you mean WW1, there was no such scenario after WW2.

      January 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • hoo

      Hey sparks if that happens let me kno...I can get hold of lots of barrels to stow that money.....have stock in a barrel making company. 🙂

      January 10, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  8. Kjhfd Gjgfd

    Correction: "I am not free why should you be?" If I am not free why should you be?" DO NOT QUOTE ME ON THAT BIG BROTHER.

    December 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  9. Kjhfd Gjgfd

    I am not free why should you be?

    December 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  10. Pete M.

    China better chill out!!!!!! I really think they want to go to war.

    December 19, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
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