US Navy Investigators Identify ‘Unknown Object’ Behind South China Sea Nuclear Submarine Collision

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USS Connecticut: Sailors injured after US nuclear submarine struck unknown object in South China Sea


US Navy investigators have identified the “unknown object” that collided with a submarine in the South China Sea in October – an unexplored underwater mountain.

The USS Connecticut was in a “safe and stable condition” after the incident in the disputed waters, which sparked outrage from officials of China.

But the risk of fallout from damage to the nuclear-powered submarine would have led the United States to deploy a so-called “nuclear sniffer” aircraft to identify any leaks – leaks that the we denied has taken place.

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A US Navy spokesperson said, “The investigation determined that the USS Connecticut ran aground on an unexplored seamount while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region. “

Chinese military experts quoted by state media Global Times said the US statement was disappointing and expressed concern over the nuclear leaks.

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, complained that the US statement was intentionally ambiguous about the location of the incident – with potential leaks causing a risk to countries in that region.

“The key is for the US military to stop sending warships and warplanes everywhere, showing military muscle and violating the security of other countries. Otherwise, this kind of accident will only happen more often, ”he said, according to the Global Times. .

U.S. Navy officials said two sailors sustained moderate injuries and nine minor injuries, such as bruises and scrapes.

They said the submarine headed for the port of Guam after the incident and was not announced earlier in order to maintain operational security.

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On the day of the collision, there were an unusual number of Chinese planes active in the region as tensions over Taiwan’s sovereignty continue to mount.

In an apparent long-standing policy shift, Joe Biden recently said that the United States would defend Taiwan if it was attacked by China.

The president said America had a “commitment” to go to the aid of the island, which complained of growing military and political pressure from Beijing, which claims a territory.

However, the White House later said there had been no change in position.

Washington has long followed a policy of “strategic ambiguity” as to whether it would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.

But asked in a town hall if the United States would get involved, Mr. Biden said: “Yes, we are committed to doing it. “

In August, an administration official was forced to insist that US policy towards Taiwan had not changed after the president appeared to suggest that the United States would defend the island in the face of to an assault.

Following Mr. Biden’s final comments, a spokesperson said, “We will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense and we will continue to oppose any unilateral change in the status quo.”

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