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US and China warships in near miss

A Chinese warship nearly collided with an American Navy guided missile cruiser operating in international waters, US military officials say.

The US Pacific Fleet says it happened on December 5 in the South China Sea, and that the USS Cowpens manoeuvered to avoid the collision.

The State Department has raised the matter at a high level with the Chinese government.

The incident comes amid heightened tension over China's growing assertiveness in the region.

Despite strenuous objections from Washington, Beijing recently declared a new air defence zone over parts of the East China Sea.

Pacific Fleet says it's not uncommon for navies to operate in close proximity and that's why it is paramount they all follow international standards for maritime "rules of the road".


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