A Chinese warship collided with a Taiwanese freighter Wednesday evening, damaging the bulk carrier, Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration said.
The collision occurred around 20 nautical southeast of Taiwan-controlled Kinmen island off China’s southeast 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, Chen Chien-wen, a spokesman for the Kinmen Coast Guard, said by phone 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 traveling to Taiwan.
The U.S. has increased its number of transits by its warships through the Taiwan Strait this year, signaling its support for the island in the face of Chinese threats to reclaim Taiwan by force.