A Chinese warship crashed into a Taiwanese bulk carrier near a Taiwan-administered county, Taipei said this week. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 2 (UPI) -- A Chinese warship collided with a Taiwanese bulk carrier in the Taiwan Strait this week, as tensions escalate between the two governments and military exercises are being held on both sides of the shipping channel.
The incident took place Wednesday night in an area about 20 miles southeast of Liaoluo Port in Kinmen County, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.
Kinmen County is two groups of islands governed by Taiwan closer to mainland China than the main island of Taiwan. It is located only a mile from China, and Beijing has continuously claimed Kinmen County as part of its own Fujian Province.
The Chinese warship is the Type 071 amphibious transport dock "Longhushan," and the Taiwanese carrier is the Kaohsiung-registered "Yutai No. 1," Taiwanese paper Liberty Times reported.
The Longhushan is a domestically developed Chinese warship that can carry about 600 to 800 troops.
The collision took place at 8:40 p.m. on Wednesday. The Kinmen-Matsu-Penghu Branch of Taiwan's coast guard alerted the main office, and two coast guard ships were dispatched to the site of the accident.
Taiwan's coast guard said in statement there were no casualties, and that the Chinese warship returned to a port in Xiamen, Fujian Province, immediately after the crash.
Record high tensions have defined cross-strait relations since President Tsai Ing-wen assumed office in 2016.
Earlier this week, Taiwan began large-scale exercises, where F-16 fighter jets fired the Harpoon, an anti-ship missile during exercises, the first time Taiwan has used the weapon in training since 2001.
China has also held exercises near Taiwan, which Taipei has suggested is a provocation.