Navy investigation reveals U.S. nuclear-powered submarine struck unexplored seamount – .

Damaged US Navy submarine operating in one of the world’s most difficult underwater environments – .

The USS Connecticut was operating in the disputed waterway when it struck the object on October 2, but it was not known at the time what it had struck.

“The investigation determined that the USS CONNECTICUT stranded on an unexplored seamount while operating in international waters of the Indo-Pacific region,” a 7th Fleet spokesperson told CNN in a statement. The US 7th Fleet operates in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Although the Seawolf-class submarine sustained injuries to crew members and damage, the Navy said the nuclear power plant was not damaged in the crash. None of the injuries were life threatening.

The command investigation for the USS Connecticut has been referred to Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, commander of the 7th Fleet, for review, the statement said. Thomas will decide if “follow-up actions, including liability, are appropriate”.

USNI News was the first to report on the investigation’s findings.

The collision came at a particularly sensitive time in US-China relations, as the Chinese military sent waves of planes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. On the day of the crash, China flew 39 planes in the air defense identification zone. Two days later, China flew a record 56 planes in the area in 24 hours.

Although the number of incursions declined for a short time, they have since started again. The Taiwanese Defense Ministry said on Sunday that eight People’s Liberation Army planes entered the air defense identification area, and six more on Monday.

Meanwhile, tensions between Washington and Beijing have grown. Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Taiwan for “meaningful participation” in the United Nations, calling Taiwan’s participation “not a political issue, but a pragmatic issue.”

The statement drew a furious rebuke from Beijing, which sees unification with the independently ruled island as one of its main goals and categorically opposes Taipei’s participation in international forums.

“If the US side decided to continue playing the misguided ‘Taiwan card’, it would inevitably pose earthquake risks to Sino-US relations, severely undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and seriously undermine interests of the United States themselves, ”Foreign Office spokesman Zhao Lijian said a day after Blinken’s statement.

Zhao also said that Taipei’s current policy is “the greatest realistic threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

On Thursday, the Taiwanese defense minister openly admitted that the US military was training Taiwanese troops.

“The US military is only helping to train (our troops), but they are not based here,” Chiu Kuo-cheng said, according to Taiwan’s state-run news agency.


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