China Confirms Near-Collision Of US, Chinese Warships, Accuses US Of "Deliberate Provocation"

Tyler Durden's picture

Last Friday we reported of a freak near-incident in the South China Sea, when a US warship nearly collided with a Chinese navy vessel, operating in close proximity to China's only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, although details were scarce. Today, with the usual several day delay, China reported what was already widely know, admitting that "an incident between a Chinese naval vessel and a U.S. warship in the South China Sea, after Washington said a U.S. guided missile cruiser had avoided a collision with a Chinese warship maneuvering nearby." According to experts this was the most significant U.S.-China maritime incident in the disputed South China Sea since 2009. Which naturally warranted the question: whose actions nearly provoked a potential military escalation between the world's two superpowers. Not surprisingly, China's version is that it was all the US' fault.

Reuters reports:

China's Defense Ministry said the Chinese naval vessel was conducting "normal patrols" when the two vessels "met".


"During the encounter, the Chinese naval vessel properly handled it in accordance with strict protocol," the ministry said on its website (


"The two Defense departments were kept informed of the relevant situation through normal working channels and carried out effective communication."


But China's official news agency Xinhua, in an English language commentary, accused the U.S. ship of deliberately provocative behavior.


"On December 5, U.S. missile cruiser Cowpens, despite warnings from China's aircraft carrier task group, broke into the Chinese navy's drilling waters in the South China Sea, and almost collided with a Chinese warship nearby," it said.


"Even before the navy training, Chinese maritime authorities have posted a navigation notice on their website, and the U.S. warship, which should have had knowledge of what the Chinese were doing there, intentionally carried on with its surveillance of China's Liaoning aircraft carrier and triggered the confrontation."

On the other hand, and just as logically, the US said it was China's fault as the US ship had to take evasive action:

Washington said last week its ship was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

Then again, one wonders just what a lone US warship was doing in such close proximity to China's aircraft carrier on its maiden voyage: "The Liaoning aircraft carrier, which has yet to be fully armed and is being used as a training vessel, was flanked by escort ships, including two destroyers and two frigates, during its first deployment into the South China Sea."

The United States had raised the incident at a "high level" with China, according to a State Department official quoted by the U.S. military's Stars and Stripes newspaper.


China deployed the Liaoning to the South China Sea just days after announcing its air Defense zone, which covers air space over a group of tiny uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that are administered by Japan but claimed by Beijing as well.

Leaving aside the question of what the US' response would be if a Chinese warship was circling just outside of the San Diego Naval Base, even if in "international waters", assuming China's account of the story is correct, and if indeed the US chain of command did tongue-in-cheekly suggest the creation of a modest incident (with or without escalation), then one should pay very careful attention to the development in the South China Sea, which the US apparently has picked as the next hotzone of geopolitical risk flaring.

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G-R-U-N-T's picture

Side note and off this particular topic but thought you all might get a kick out of this short interview...

Larry Klayman Makes Fools Out Of CNN

The Juggernaut's picture

As I mentioned over your Thanksgiving weekends... China and Japan's frustrations will cause the US Gov't to make the mother of all False Flags.

Pladizow's picture

Whos fault - who was further from home - what would the US do if a Chinese Naval ship was in international waters off the coast of New York???

mick_richfield's picture


Same thing the US did when the Chinese launched a frikking SLBM from a highly secure US Naval practice area off the coast of L.A. .

Manthong's picture

..anything floating is toast in the new normal after Clinton / Loral / launch tech was handed off to the Chinese for campaign contributions.

that includes the little Soviet ramp carrier the Chicoms have now.. 

It is all about showmanship now, but push will never come to shove because politicos know what the end game would be.

and.. they have the handle on the value proposition,, at least for now.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Modern Global Conflict is not fair. Russia is steal design from USA through legitimate espionage, but Chicom is get for free from Clinton by favor to Loral. Why is USSA favor China!? Now Russia is must spend more spy on AmeriKa for re-establish geo-strategic balance!

Manthong's picture

good one :-) 

I am loving you in manly, Putin kind of way.

Manthong's picture

yes, no, is not junk..

is lots of steel that would have been in Alang, but China needs to assert now.

again creds to the Chinese.

maybe Vlad will be trying rev 2.0 up north.

Luckhasit's picture

Simple Boris.  If Russia had agreed to be America's sweatshop and holder in billions of gov bonds then they would have gotten tech too.  

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Russia is refuse price oil in US Petrodollar. Russia is cut off from Loral technology.

prmths2's picture

I once knew a technician who worked at a company that was involved in a number of defense programs. One building had a small break room adjacent to an exit door. The break room had a number of vending machines. While eating in the break room the technician happened to peruse the interior of an open vending machine that was being serviced and noticed a gold-colored object that obviously didn't belong there. The object was a component for the HARM missile and it appeared that the component could only have been placed in the location in which it was found by somebody with a key to the vending machine. Security was all over the place for awhile and speculation was that the vending machine was being used as a drop. I have to believe that the PC revolution and ubiquitous networks have made espionage easier and more effective than it used to be. 

idea_hamster's picture

"The Liaoning aircraft carrier, which has yet to be fully armed...."

I wonder how you say "Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station! " in Chinese....

CounterPartyVice's picture

The problem is that they left an opening in the hull for torpedoes to get in ...

InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

hope they put the thermal exhaust port above the waterline

Sonic the porcupine's picture

It's ray-shielded, so you'll have to use proton torpedoes.

fedupwhiteguy's picture

It's not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they're not much bigger than two meters.

Ying-Yang's picture

Judging by the picture.... the carrier looks like it is operational.

At least 24 jets and 3 choppers on deck and good to go.

Manthong's picture

..gotta' hand it to the Chinese..

they took a junk Soviet hull and created the impression of projection of power.

try doing THIS in the U.S.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Ukraine hull is not junk, is careful copy of USSA carrier design!

Ying-Yang's picture

I dunno Boris...

Chinese carrier looks like it's sprouting a woodie

Ying-Yang's picture

How you say woodie in Russian?

Manthong's picture

maybe voodie in the hoodie?

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ The Juggernaut,

This is just window dressing & setting up for the False Narrtive PsyOp.

DosZap's picture

Just go ahead and China take the first US ship down.Lets get the ball rolling.And IF we get into a major confrontation with them, PUKIN will seize shit right and left KNOWING we cannot do dick about it, ane the mooslim would not anyway.

This whole deal is a set up.

rubiconsolutions's picture

Sad to say but I believe China's version of the facts. I don't believe a word that comes from the pentagram.

XitSam's picture

I don't believe either one.

It doesn't have to be one or the other.

NotApplicable's picture

Well, it's much more likely that a single ship made an invasive maneuver toward a carrier group than an entire carrier group making an invasive move toward a single ship.

Sure, they were forced to make an evasive maneuver, but by which set of circumstances?

insanelysane's picture

Not to mention that the US can make an entire carrier group disappear without ever needing a surface ship in the area; either with stealth subs, stealth aircraft, or stealth missiles.

Manthong's picture

aw, crap.. it is all BS..

if you ain't totally stealthy you are toast.

NoClueSneaker's picture

Hmmm, how about with stealth penis ?

XitSam's picture

You're still assuming one of the stories told has to be the truth. Both parties are well known, proven liars.

MarsInScorpio's picture



Everyone knows the incredible bias of CNN vise a vise Obama. As charter members of the Left Wing Looney Tunes, CNN has long been dismissed as a credible source of information concerning the Democrats.


There is a reason why Fox's ratings exceed those of CNN, CNNHN, and MSNBC combined.


As for the interview, for the so-called legal analyst to refer to the guest as a "lunatic" shows the complete, take-no-prisoners attitude at CNN. The truith of the matter is that this suit against the NSA is the best thing that could happen as far as protedcfting First Amendment rights - but CNN, in its blind, bigoted, air-for-brains support of alll things Obama, lines up with the information Nazis at NSA, and againt freedom of association, speech, and press.


Thank you for posting this link.


SheepDog-One's picture

Faux News? Where I just watched some little elf named Megyn Kelly tell me that 'Santa and Jesus were white men'? That's the 'real news'? They may as well name themselves 'The Onion-2'

JohnnyBriefcase's picture

Dudes, it's Television. They BOTH suck.
You see, it's exactly like the democrat vs. republican debate. They are BOTH wrong and only serve to highlight things that divide Americans into separate groups and destroy any unity we might have had.

It's natural to divide into tribal groups(sports, politics, school and work cliques) but try to see the bigger picture.

Imagine if all Americans united against the power structure. That scares the shit out of those in power. Fortunately you play right into their hands.

"CNN is a group of socialist lesbians!"
"FOX News is a group of conservative racists!"

Nice work. Makes it easy for them.

akarc's picture


They are all biased and chasing their respective demographics in search of the accuracy of the balance sheet.

To say any of them is, "fair and balanced" is a self re-enforcing delusion. 

Sudden Debt's picture


Chinese militairy VS Nato


The Chinese do have toys.

janus's picture


awesome clip...thanks.

CNN -- Coven of Nancy-boys & Neer-do-wells.  really, the entire fucking network is nothing but a virus-loaded horde of 'former' agents who weren't worth a damn in the field or behind an analyst's desk.  this negro and anderson cooper were never anything but 'honey-pots' for international dilettantes -- the kind who favor back-door action.

CNN and capital hill have much in common (on BOTH sides of the aisle).

congratulations on your government and its propaganda 'organs', amorica.

russia will indeed crush us if this shit goes on for even a year more.

what the fuck is going on?  i mean, walter cronkite was a commie; but at least he had some dignity.

time to shatter CNN and cast the splintered chaff to the four winds...this doesn't qualify as dissent or news or debate -- it's rank, naked propaganda.

for fuck's sake, harvey levine (tmz guy) is ten times a superior journalist than this mocha-blended-moron.  

i'm not anti-gay or homo-phobic...but i'm inclined to get that way -- seeing how  clear it's become:  be very, very gay or go away.  that's the message power is no longer telegraphing, it's blasting it through mega-amped mega-phones.  

gay-america, if you want to know what social-recoil feels like, just keep on shootin from the hip...don't say you weren't warned.

janus thinks you've wildly overestimated your power to persuade; always remember, when things decay economically, the people first blame moral depravity -- and the activity about which you've sculpted the entirety of your identity is, well, traditionally suspect...that being sodomy.  which involves intercourse in the colon; which is where our shit coagulates.  beautiful thing, that.  i know if i were homosexual, i'd want my every thought and inclination centered on my association with this most noble act.  

and what should concern you most is that you're starting to irritate individuals like janus, who do genuinely believe in tolerance.  but, sadly, it seems obvious you don't share my liberal views.  you are clearly attempting to establish a new-fangled form of fag-fascism.  not being a faggot myself, i feel slighted...let's say i'm 'offended'.  

you bitches have taught me well what to do when offended: crush the will of the offending party.

so, the hetero-phobia is getting old.  we demand our rights!  we're here; we love pussy and beer; and we outnumber you 99 to 1.  

shit, don't listen to me; you should all get FAR more militant...get in hetero's faces...let them know you won't take the abuse and bigotry any longer...nevermind the fact that your average incomes are nearly double that of the average, it's clear that you've had to overcome so very much.  i drown my pillow in tears each night over your heroic plight.

just accept that you favor a disgusting vice, and move on in life.  janus smokes; others find it disgusting.  do i sturcture my entire identity around my vice?  do i promote it as an alternative lifestyle?  do i seek protective status therewith?  maybe i should; as i said, i'm learning.  facts are facts -- sodomy is far more dangerous than smoking.  average life span for sodomite: 49  average life span for a smoker: 68.  but, yes, bloomberg, go on and ban ecigs, too.  don't want to send any mixed signals, do we?



TheLoveArtist's picture

Give the Chinese some credit, once they work out all the bugs they can crank out probably twenty copies of this carrier in one year!!!

Headbanger's picture

Anybody else remember Gulf of Tonkin ?

Me thinks it's the Chinese pulling that stunt this time however.

They may well have been behind it in '64 too!

Mad Mohel's picture

A lot of fuckin nuts on you to accuse people of doing shit off THEIR coast. The US need to bring all the toys home and stop trying to fuck with people. If they put as much effort into rebuilding infrastructure here as they do with fucking in other peoples' shit, we would all be better off. Gulf of Tonkin!? Fuckin retard.

Headbanger's picture

Thanks for you kind reply on this matter.  So glad to see you agree it is very similar to the Gulf of Tonkin episode and wish to see more investment into our own infrastructure to boost employment here.  Now please go fuck yourself again.

MarsInScorpio's picture



Well, your screen name is correct, even if your thinking isn't.


It's not "their" coast to chase off other nations' shipping. It's international waters that transit tremendous amounts of goods throughout east Asia.


If the US doesn't do it, who will? The Russians? The Brits? The French? The Japanese?


Who, Mr. Mad, who?


Thre are some circumstancees when international deployment serves the best interests of not just the US, but the entire world.


This is one of them.


Mad Mohel's picture

Don't try to be cute asshole. You know damn well that the Chinese are aware they are no match for us militarly. Why would they try to cause a provocation? They can sit back and watch us destroy ourselves by allowing assholes to spend endlessly on more toys. In fact all their actions are facilitating that.

If it was the other way around and they sent naval vessels a few miles off our west coast, would we be correct in saying that they are provoking us, or would you blame the US of trying to start trouble?

And about the shipping of goods, really? You're concerned about that? Because you have so many goods going through there. News flash kid, most of the goods  going through there are theirs and going to the rest of the world. Before anyone else it is in their interest that there is no shit in those waters. So cut the crap of trying to be the world's cop.

MarsInScorpio's picture

Gee MAD, you're really mad.


"Why would they try to cause a provocation"


Because they want to send the message that they a force to be reckoned with - and to try to intimidate the US into doing things their way.


When they ordered the US naval vessle to stop, and it had done so, then who is in control? I don't think you get it.


"If it was the other way around and they sent naval vessels a few miles off our west coast, would we be correct in saying that they are provoking us, or would you blame the US of trying to start trouble?"


Excuse me - care to set up the correct ananlogy?


The USS Cowpens was not "a few miles off their coast." It was in international waters. Are you familiar with the phrase "Freedom of Navigation in International Waters?" What occured was a US FON operation combined with intelligence gathering. Very legitimate.


And if the ChiComs had the blue-water navy to sail off the CA coast, they would - and it's touch luck for the US to stop them.


"most of the goods  going through there are theirs and going to the rest of the world."


Uhhhh . . . no.


They are EU, Russian, African, East European, South American, Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipino, ROC, North and South Korean, Middle Eastern (how do you think the oil arrives?) - among many others as well . . . please, get a grip on reality.


This is a correct course of action by the US. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.




maskone909's picture

world commerce is a fucking joke.  we build gigantic military vessels to protect shipments of cheap chinese or (insert country here) crap that we can no doubt create here.  how can the greatest nation in the world also be the greatest importer in the world?  obviously the peoples interest are not in mind.  couple this with a central banking monetary structure, together with a unicorn-rainbow-puppy-smile backed currency, and its just a matter of time.  when a nation goes from being exporter to importer, i dont think there is a way to reverse the momentum.  see you guys at the street lamps!