News / Asia

US, Chinese Warships Avert Near-Collision in South China Sea

FILE - U.S. fighter jets on standby at the upper deck of a USS George Washington aircraft carrier while the USS Cowpens passes by, in the South China Sea, 170 nautical miles from Manila, September 2010.
FILE - U.S. fighter jets on standby at the upper deck of a USS George Washington aircraft carrier while the USS Cowpens passes by, in the South China Sea, 170 nautical miles from Manila, September 2010.
VOA News
U.S. defense officials say a U.S. guided missile cruiser steaming in the South China Sea was forced to take evasive action last week to avoid colliding with a Chinese warship.

Officials say the near-miss occurred December 5, as the USS Cowpens maneuvered in international waters in the vicinity of China's only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. There has been no comment on the incident from Beijing.

In a statement Friday, the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said another Chinese warship then maneuvered near the Cowpens. A U.S. military official quoted in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes said the Chinese ship attempted to get the Cowpens to stop, before a collision was averted through radio communications.

The official said no shots were fired.

The incident occurred at a time of heightened maritime tensions involving China and a host of other Pacific nations over competing claims to large swaths of the East and South China seas.

China recently deployed the Liaoning for maneuvers in the region, as part of a push to assert its claim to a tiny set of East China Sea islands controlled by Japan and claimed by Beijing. China also is seeking to lay claim to a nearby reef disputed with South Korea.

Beijing unilaterally declared a new air defense zone over the Japanese-controlled islands last month, and ordered all foreign aircraft entering the zone to first submit a flight plan.

The United States, South Korea and Japan have all rejected the order, and all three countries have sent warplanes into the zone in recent weeks in defiance of the Chinese demand.

China has not interfered with the flights, but scrambled fighter jets into the area, heightening concerns about possible aerial miscalculations.

Friday's U.S. statement said it is not uncommon for navies to operate in close proximity, making it "paramount that all navies follow international standards for maritime rules."

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More