South China Sea Photo: VCG
China is deeply concerned about the USS Connecticut’s collision with an “unknown object” in international waters in the South China Sea, and said the US is required to explain the incident in detail, China’s Ministry of National Affairs said. Defense Tuesday.
“For a long time, under the slogan of ‘freedom of navigation and overflight’, the US has often sent sophisticated weapons platforms such as aircraft carriers, strategic bombers and nuclear submarines into the South China Sea to show off their strength and incitement problems, a serious threat for regional national security and increasing regional tensions,” said Tan Kefei, spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense in a statement.
On October 8, media reported that a US nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Connecticut, had hit an underwater object in the South China Sea on October 2.
The US Navy confirmed the accident saying it is unclear what may have hit the Seawolf-class submarine while submerged, adding that the submarine is in a safe and stable condition, with its nuclear propulsion facility and spaces unaffected, but it did not explain the details of the accident.
Tan pointed out that the US Navy deliberately postponed and concealed the details of the accident.
“It took the US Navy five days after the accident to make a brief and unclear statement,” Tan said. “Such an irresponsible approach and cover-up are not transparent and can easily lead to misunderstandings and misjudgments. China and its neighbors in the South China Sea must question the truth of the incident and the intentions behind it.”
This incident also shows that the recent establishment of a trilateral security partnership between the US, UK and Australia (AUKUS) to establish cooperation on nuclear submarines has created a huge risk of nuclear proliferation, the spirit of the non-proliferation treaty, the construction of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Southeast Asia, and posed serious challenges to regional peace and security, Tan said.
“We believe that US actions will affect the security of shipping in the South China Sea, raise serious concerns and unrest among countries in the region, and pose a serious threat and risk to the regional peace and stability,” Tan said. said.
Tan urged the US to stop exploring and deploying military forces against China in the adjacent sea and airspace of China’s South China Sea, and to end so-called freedom of navigation in the waters.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry also expressed serious concern about the accident and urged the US to clarify more details, including the purpose of the cruise in the area, and whether it caused a nuclear leak that could affect the local marine environment. environment has been damaged.
“I would like to emphasize that the root cause of the incident, which also poses a serious threat and significant risks to regional peace and stability, is that the US has been continuously fueling problems in the South China Sea for a long period of time,” the spokesman said. from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zhao Lijian on Oct. 8.
Experts reached by the Global Times previously said the US nuclear submarines normally cruise the South China Sea at depths of more than 100 meters. If it were to collide with a reef or other submarine, the resulting damage would likely be severe. Some believed that the “unknown object” is an artificial fish reef rather than a breeding cage.