South China Sea Cold War revealed

Chinese trawler uses a grapple hook in an apparent attempt to snag the towed acoustic array of the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable

A Chinese destroyer came aggressively close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea, forcing it to manoeuvre to prevent a collision. "We'll sort this out", he said.

A US Navy guided-missile destroyer in the Pacific Ocean. They were published on the gcaptain blog site, which describes itself as an "interactive community of maritime professionals".

Still images show just how scary the encounter was.

The Lanzhou, on the right, can be seen sailing within 40m of the USA ship. The onus would be on the Chinese ship to keep safe distance from and maneuver past the U.S. ship.

ABC News also added that according to another US official, the Chinese warship was initially about 500 yards on the Decatur's port side then moved ahead of the Decatur and cut across the American destroyer's bow at a distance of 45 yards (135 feet).

'It's like slamming on the brakes and turning to the right to avoid a crash on the road, ' he said.

"The Chinese ship certainly violated the rules of the road", Schuster said.

China opposes the entry of US warships into the waters around the reefs, the Chinese defense ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

The Defense Ministry insisted the America freedom of navigation patrol "gravely threatens China's sovereignty and security, gravely damages relations between China and the U.S. and their militaries, and gravely injures regional peace and stability".

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The United States and China are embroiled in a trade war, sparked by Trump's accusations that China has long sought to steal US intellectual property, limit access to its own market and unfairly subsidize state-owned companies.

Last week, the minister of Defense of Jim Mattis has cancelled a scheduled visit in China.

Last week, Beijing canceled two high-level security meetings with United States defence officials, and warned of "consequences" towards the USA due to sanctions over Russian military equipment.

The Pentagon has made no public statement about Mattis' change of plans.

The B-52 flights came on the heels of the Chinese government's demand that the USA cancel a $330 million sale of military equipment to Taiwan and then turned down a request for a port call in Hong Kong by the USS Wasp that had been planned for October.

US Vice-President Mike Pence will give China a blunt warning on Thursday that the United States will not back down from what Washington sees as Chinese intimidation in the South China Sea. The naval operation was the latest attempt by Washington to counter what it sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters.

The Pentagon says they are meant to enforce the right of free passage in global waters. The Decatur was sailing within 12 miles of the reefs, within what would normally be considered territorial waters.

In the sequence of pictures, the USS Decatur, pictured on the left, is seen next to the Chinese Warship that was dispatched by Beijing to chase the U.S. vessel into neutral waters and away from the Gaven Reefs, which are claimed by China.

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