The Yinhe Incident
The Yinhe incident occurred on July 23, 1993, when the United States alleged that the Yinhe, a Chinese cargofreighter, was carrying materials for chemical weapons to Iran, citing what it called intelligence reports it had received, and threatened to impose sanctions on China. The Yinhe was intercepted and detained by the U.S. Navy in the international waters of the Indian Ocean for three weeks.
The Chinese government immediately raised serious concerns with the United State over its brazen and brutal act. In order to dispel any possible misgivings on the part of some members of the international community, however, the Chinese government ultimately exercised self-restraint in agreeing to a request by the U.S. government for an inspection of the vessel. Completed on September 4, the inspection did not find any materials for chemical weapons on board the ship, which had been forced to suspend its scheduled voyage for 33 days.
The Yinhe incident was a display of American hegemonismand power politics. It caused significant political and economic damage to China. In response, the Chinese government demanded a public apology and compensation for all economic losses incurred. The U.S. government however refused to apologize, resulting in seriously strained Sino-US relations.