BEIJING: The Chinese military on Thursday, November 25, 2021, asked the US to stop “reconnaissance, interference, provocation” in the disputed South China Sea after the recent accident involving a US nuclear-powered submarine in the region.
The USS Connecticut hit an underwater object in the South China Sea (SCS) last month.
Eleven sailors aboard the submarine were injured in the accident.
Commenting on the US Navy’s dismissal of two senior officers from the nuclear-powered attack submarine, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Sr.
Colonel Wu Qian told the media here that since the clash took place, the uneasy and secretive attitude of the US has inevitably raised doubts.
Wu raised several questions about the submarine’s operations, saying: “China believes that the root causes of this incident are the extensive and intensive reconnaissance, interference, provocation and display of force by the US military ships in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the militarization and navigational hegemony of the United States in the South China Sea”.
“We urge the US to immediately stop such activities to prevent them from hitting the wall,” Wu said.
The US has intensified air and naval patrols in the South China Sea in recent years to ensure freedom of navigation.
China claims most of the South China Sea.
Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims in the area.
Over the years, China has built a number of military installations on the reclaimed islands in the SCS and deployed a large fleet of its naval vessels and submarines.
The United States has criticized China for militarizing the islands by building long airstrips used by fighter jets and deploying anti-aircraft missiles.
The US has insisted on preserving freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and has sent military flights, naval patrols and training missions around the strategically vital region.
Wu also stressed the intensification of ties between Sino-Russian armies amid intensified pressure against them by the US and allies in recent years.
“There is no limit to the mil-to-mil relationship between China and Russia, and there is no end to military cooperation between China and Russia,” he said, commenting on the current mil-to-mil relationship. between China and Russia.
The two armies have stepped up pragmatic cooperation on military exercises and training, he said.
“The Chinese military stands ready to establish close strategic coordination with the Russian side and deepen exchanges and cooperation, to bring more benefits to the two countries and peoples, and play a greater role in securing world peace and stability” , he said. .