Washington should elaborate further on a submarine incident in the South China Sea in order to fully respond to the concerns and misgivings of countries in the region, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday, urging the United States to stop undermining the sovereignty and security of other countries.
US Navy investigators said on Monday that the US nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Connecticut had hit an uncharted undersea mountain, without offering further details. The latest announcement came nearly a month after the submarine had collided with an unknown object on Oct 2.
“We have expressed grave concerns over this incident several times and asked the US side to give a detailed explanation in a responsible way,” Wang said at a regular news briefing in Beijing.
However, he said that the US only issued an ambiguous statement a week after the incident and vaguely referred to its location as “in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region”.
The US side never explicitly explained the intention of the submarine, the detailed location of the incident, whether it happened in the exclusive economic zone or territorial waters, or whether there was a nuclear leak or contamination in the marine environment, Wang said, adding that this showed that the US is not transparent and is irresponsible.
For quite a long time, the US has stirred up trouble in the South China Sea under the guise of “freedom of navigation”, which the Foreign Ministry said posed serious threats and major risks to the region”s peace and stability.
“The US should stop sending warships or military aircraft all around to make provocations and flex its muscles,” Wang said, adding that otherwise the number of such incidents would increase.
The spokesman also urged Washington to learn lessons from the Afghan war and abandon its belligerent policies.
He made the remark after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a recent interview that the US had attempted to deploy its military infrastructure in countries neighboring Afghanistan, such as Pakistan and Uzbekistan, but they had rejected those US proposals.
“The countries you mentioned are all member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It is the common goal of SCO members to safeguard regional peace and stability, and relevant countries have been in close cooperation,” Wang said while responding to a question at the news briefing.
He said that the 20-year war by the US in Afghanistan had severely undermined regional peace and stability and caused a huge humanitarian disaster, urging Washington to earnestly respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of regional countries and refrain from repeating its mistakes.
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