Expressing serious concern over the damage of a US nuclear-powered submarine in the disputed South China Sea, China on Friday called on Washington to disclose the details and location of the crash and the US’s continuing air and naval sorties in the Indo-Pacific region. Held responsible. “Freedom of Navigation” as the “root cause” of the phenomenon.
The USS Connecticut collided with an underwater object in the South China Sea (SCS) on Saturday. 11 sailors aboard the submarine were injured in the accident. A statement issued by the US Pacific Fleet on Thursday said none of the injuries were life-threatening.
It is not clear what would have struck the Seawolf-class submarine while submerged.
“The submarine is in safe and stable condition. The nuclear propulsion plant and location of USS Connecticut were not affected and are fully operational,” the US Navy statement said.
Asked for his reaction, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here that “China is seriously concerned about the incident.”
“As the party involved, the US must explain in specific details what happened, including the exact location of the incident, the navigation intent of the US side, details of the incident, the object the submarine collided with, whether the collision caused a nuclear leak or not.” . damaged the local marine environment, etc.,” Zhao said.
He alleged that the US has been creating trouble in the South China Sea in the name of “freedom of navigation” for a long time, posing a serious threat and great risk to regional peace and stability. He said, ‘This is the root cause of this incident.
The US has been periodically sending its naval and air patrols through the South China Sea, challenging China’s claims of sovereignty over the region and also emphasizing freedom of navigation.
Zhao said the US deliberately concealed the specifics of the incident. It lacks transparency and accountability, he said.
“China and other countries around the South China Sea can’t help but ask what really happened and what America’s intentions are,” he said.
The spokesperson also used the occasion to criticize the AUKUS security alliance announced by the US, UK and Australia.
The tripartite alliance – widely seen as an attempt to counter China’s influence in the disputed South China Sea – was announced last month by US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison. Was.
Zhao pointed out that the US and Britain have recently decided to have nuclear submarine cooperation with Australia, a non-nuclear weapons state, and proliferation of nuclear submarines in the Asia-Pacific.
“This nuclear proliferation is bound to create risks, fuel an arms race, and undermine efforts to establish a Southeast Asia nuclear free zone. The likelihood of a nuclear incident will also increase dramatically.
“The United States must abandon the obsolete Cold War zero-even mentality and narrow geopolitical perceptions and stop misogynistic practices that undermine regional peace, stability and development,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.
China claims most of the SCS. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have contested the region. Over the years, China has built several military installations in the reclaimed islands in the SCS and has deployed a large fleet of its naval ships and submarines.
At the briefing, China also asked the US to sever defense and official ties with Taiwan, while reacting to reports that US troops were training Taiwanese troops.
He also called on the US to sever military and official ties with Taiwan, while reacting to reports that a small number of US special operations forces were stationed in Taiwan on a rotational basis to train Taiwanese forces. .
The report quoted Pentagon spokesman John Supple as saying that US support for defense ties with Taiwan “goes against the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China.”
China treats Taiwan as a separate province. However, democratic Taiwan views itself as a sovereign state. Beijing has not ruled out the possibility of using force to achieve reunification with Taiwan.
Zhao said the One China doctrine, which insists that Taiwan is part of China, is the political underpinning of Sino-US relations.
“The US should break diplomatic ties with Taiwan and abrogate its mutual defense treaty with Taiwan and withdraw from the island”, he said.
The US must fully recognize the “highly sensitive nature” of issues relating to Taiwan and the “severely harmful nature” of relevant issues, adhere to the One-China Doctrine and the Three Sino-US Joint Communities, and arms sales should be stopped. Sino-US relations in the Taiwan Strait and relations with Taiwan to avoid seriously harming peace and stability.
“China will take all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zhao said.
He said the US must stick to its commitments to maintain cultural, commercial and other informal ties with the people of Taiwan.
Tensions between China and Taiwan escalated when the Chinese military flew a record 150 Air Force jets over Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone during a week-long holiday to celebrate China’s National Day on October 1.
The Taiwan issue came up in Zurich on Wednesday during talks between top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, during which the two sides agreed to improve strained ties.
The intensity of China’s air strikes prompted US President Joe Biden to remind his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that they had agreed to abide by the “Taiwan Agreement” during their telephone talks last month.
“I have spoken with Xi about Taiwan. We agree… We will abide by the Taiwan Agreement. We made it clear that I don’t think he should do anything other than abide by the agreement,” Biden had previously said.