BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) — China reiterated its deep concern Tuesday (Oct. 26) over the collision of a US Navy submarine with an unknown object in the South China Sea, and urged Washington to provide more information about the incident. and stop the militarization of the area.
It’s been more than three weeks since the USS Connecticut, a Seawolf-class nuclear attack submarine, had an underwater collision in the South China Sea, but Washington has kept tight-lipped about the incident, Beijing said.
The US military website The Drive has confirmed that the USS Connecticut is still in the port of Guam.
China has repeatedly demanded clarification from the US about the incident, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily news conference on Tuesday (Oct. 26) in Beijing.
But the US military has so far been procrastinating only by issuing a brief and vague statement, Mr Zhao said.
“Such an irresponsible practice gives regional countries and the international community every reason to question the truth of the incident and the intent of the US,” he said.
“It is justified for China and other coastal states to require the US to answer the following question: What was the USS Connecticut doing in the South China Sea this time? What hit it? Why would that happen? Was there a nuclear bomb? leak? with environmental risks?” said Mr. Zhao.
The US should provide a detailed explanation in response to concerns and doubts from regional countries and the international community, he added.
The US has regularly sent a large number of military ships and aircraft to the South China Sea to flex its muscles, undermining freedom of navigation in the area and threatening the sovereignty and security of regional countries, including China, Mr. zhao.
Such practices also posed a serious threat to regional peace and stability, he added, stressing that the South China Sea is not a hunting ground for the US to pursue its geopolitical interests.
Washington is the main force in the militarization of the South China Sea, he said, urging the US to correct its mistakes and play a constructive role in maintaining peace and stability in the area.