BEIJING – China on Tuesday urged the United States to explain in detail an incident involving the US Navy nuclear submarine USS Connecticut in the South China Sea, and fully respond to the concerns and doubts of countries in the region.
A new investigation report released by the US Navy said the submarine had crashed into an unknown seamount in the South China Sea last month.
“We have repeatedly expressed our grave concern over the incident and asked the US side to take a responsible attitude and provide a detailed clarification so as to give a satisfactory account to the international community and countries in the region,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in response to the report.
“What we see is that it took nearly a week for the United States to issue the vague statement that the nuclear submarine hit an unknown object. Nearly a month after the incident, it said it had hit an unknown seamount,” he added.
The US side has also deliberately referred to the site of the incident in a vague manner, saying it occurred in the so-called waters of the Indo-Pacific region, Wang said.
He said the US side has not clearly clarified the intended navigation of the nuclear submarine, whether the specific location of the incident was in an exclusive economic zone or territorial sea of any other country, or whether the incident has caused nuclear leakage or damaged the marine environment.
“This fully exposes the opacity and irresponsibility of the US side,” he said. “Once again, we urge the US side to explain the incident in detail and fully respond to the concerns and doubts of countries in the region.”
Wang said the key is to stop sending military vessels and aircraft to the South China Sea to make provocations, stir up troubles and flex muscles, and to cease acts that harm other countries” sovereignty and security. “Otherwise, I am afraid there will be no fewer such accidents, but more.”
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