Washington Free Beacon 
December 20, 2013
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday criticized the Chinese navy for the near collision between the U.S. guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens and a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea.
“That action by the Chinese, cutting in front of their ship, 100 yards out in front of the Cowpens was not a responsible action,” Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon. “It was unhelpful; it was irresponsible.”
The comments were the first official reaction from the Pentagon to the Dec. 5 incident in the South China Sea. The Cowpens was shadowing China’s aircraft carrier the Liaoning at the time. It was hailed and ordered to stop by the Chinese navy.
The Cowpens continued on its path and a Chinese tank landing ship then sailed close to the front of the warship and stopped, forcing the Cowpens to abruptly change course.