China Confirms American and Chinese Navy Ships Almost Collided Earlier This Month

U.S. claims its ship was in international waters


China says one of its warships "encountered" a US vessel, confirming US reports of a near-collision in the South China Sea earlier this month.

The US said its guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens was forced to take evasive action as the two ships neared each other on 5 December.

It has been described as the most serious Sino-US confrontation in the South China Sea since 2009.

However, China said the incident was handled with "strict protocol".