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An American destroyer vessel was forced to slow down to avoid a collision with a Chinese navy ship that cut sharply across its path.

RELATED: Chinese fighter jet performs ‘aggressive maneuver’ near US plane

China’s defense minister defended sailing a warship across the path of an American destroyer and Canadian frigate passing through the Taiwan Strait, saying Western “freedom of navigation” patrols are a provocation.

Gen. Li Shangfu said China doesn’t have any problems with “innocent passage” but that “we must prevent attempts that try to use those freedoms of navigation … to exercise hegemony of navigation.”

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