U.S. Battleship Caught Flying Unexpected Flag After Chinese Mission

Just weeks after being confronted by a Chinese warship while on routine patrol in the Taiwan Strait, the US Navy destroyer USS Chung-Hoon arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on June 21 with its blue battle flag raised.

On June 3, the Chung-Hoon was transiting the Taiwan Strait on a “routine patrol” when a Chinese Navy ship maneuvered in an “unsafe manner,” at one point, coming within 150 yards of the destroyer, CBS News reported.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the Chinese vessel the Luyang III “overtook” the US destroyer on the port side, crossing the bow 150 yards ahead. To avoid colliding with the vessel, the Chung-Hoon slowed to 10 knots but maintained course.

The Chinese ship crossed the bow a second time about 2,000 yards away before remaining off the port side, the statement said.

The following day, the Pentagon released video footage of the incident.

According to Indo-Pacific Command, the Chung-Hoon was operating with the Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal at the time of the incident as part of the “combined US-Canadian commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The Chinese military frequently confronts US and allied vessels and aircraft in the Indo-Pacific region.

Just one week before the incident between the Chung-Hoon and the Luyang III, a Chinese fighter jet flew an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” near a US reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea.

According to a statement at the time, the US Indo-Pacific Command said the Chinese pilot “flew directly in front of the nose” of the reconnaissance plane as it was conducting routine operations in international airspace, the Associated Press reported.

The Pentagon released the cockpit video from the RC-135 reconnaissance plane showing the Chinese jet approaching just in front before veering off. The video footage shakes due to the turbulence from the jet’s wake.