npr.org
December 18, 2013

China has confirmed that one of its warships – reportedly the newly deployed aircraft carrier, — had an “encounter” with a U.S. guided-missile cruiser in the South China Sea earlier this month.

The incident, in which American officials say the was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision, was first revealed by Washington last week. China’s state media has said it was Liaoning involved in the incident, but Beijing’s defense ministry on Wednesday would only say that the U.S. vessel had been “tailing and harassing” one of its warships while it was engaged in drills. It did not say which of its warships was involved.

“China’s defence ministry said the two ships met during a ‘routine patrol’ by one of China’s naval vessels.”

“‘The Chinese naval vessel strictly followed protocol and handled the incident,’ it said.”

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