China warship collided with Taiwan freighter, says coast guard

TAIPEI (BLOOMBERG) - A Chinese warship collided with a Taiwanese freighter on Wednesday evening (July 31), damaging the bulk carrier, Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration said.

The collision occurred around 20 nautical miles south-east of Taiwan-controlled Kinmen island off China's south-east coast, according to a statement from the coast guard. No injuries were reported.

The statement identified the Chinese vessel as a People's Liberation Army warship.

The coast guard said they managed to make contact with the Chinese ship suspected of being involved in the crash, but the captain declined to assist in an investigation into the incident.

The incident occurred on an established shipping lane after dark, Kinmen Coast Guard spokesman Chen Chien-wen said by phone on Thursday.

Investigators are looking into how the collision occurred.

The collision comes as China increases pressure on Taiwan ahead of the democratic island's presidential elections in January.

Beijing on Wednesday issued a surprise ban on individual tourists from 47 Chinese cities travelling to Taiwan.

The US has increased its number of transits by its warships through the Taiwan Strait this year, signalling its support for the island in the face of Chinese threats to reclaim Taiwan by force.