The Chinese Foreign Ministry has demanded the US provide more than “vague statements” concerning an incident in the South China Sea in early October in which an American nuclear submarine collided with an “unknown” object.
On Tuesday, Zhao Lijian (Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson) claimed that the countries of Asia Pacific are losing faith in America after Washington did not expand upon its account of the incident.
“To this day, what we have seen are only short, vague statements made by the US military after a long delay,” Zhao stated, adding that the location of the incident had been confirmed only through China’s own sources.
“This irresponsible approach and cover-up in the South China Sea has forced regional countries and the international community to question the truth of the incident,” the spokesman added, noting that other nations also expected answers as to the US’ intentions in the region.
Zhao stated that Washington must explain why it dispatched the nuclear submarine in question to the area at such a time. The US was asked to explain more about the event, including the details of what the submarine collided with and whether there were any nuclear leaks. The US has said no damage was caused to the sub’s nuclear propulsion plant.
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Noting that the US had an “Obligation” to come clean on the incident, Zhao called on Washington to rethink its strategy. “The United States should change its course, stop the above-mentioned wrong actions, and play a positive role in the peace and stability of the South China Sea,”He stated that America is the largest driver of militarization within the region.
Two Octobers ago, the USS ConnecticutA nuclear-powered Seawolf class fast-attack submarine of the Seawolf-class type struck an unknown object underwater in waters claimed to be China’s. For five days, the incident wasn’t reported.
The ship was at a “safe and stable”The US military said that the ship was in good condition. Since then, it has returned to Guam for repairs.
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