The USS Connecticut collided with a mysterious “object” in the South China Sea. 11 U.S. Crew members were injured, and treated aboard the American submarine by medics.
Rather than check for injuries, or offer any form assistance, China, responded with allegations that America was culpable for potentially damaging the country’s “marine environment”. Could this neglect to demonstrate a positive synergy, be a foreshadow to China’s future unreliability?
Capt. Bill Clinton told USNI News, “The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22) struck an object while submerged on the afternoon of Oct. 2, while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region. The safety of the crew remains the Navy’s top priority. There are no life-threatening injuries.”
“The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed. The U.S. Navy has not requested assistance. The incident will be investigated.”
The Navy responded in a statement, “Pearl Harbor, Hawaii – USS Connecticut (SSN 22) struck an object while submerged on the afternoon of Oct. 2, while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region. There are no life threatening injuries.”
The statement continues “The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed. The U.S. Navy has not requested assistance. The incident will be investigated.”
China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, told reporters Friday, the United States “should clarify in detail the situation of the accident, including the location, the intention of the sailing, details of the accident, such as what exactly it collided with, whether it caused a nuclear leak, and whether it damaged the local marine environment.”
The South China Sea
Aside from the world’s oceans, the South China Sea is the largest sea in the world. China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, and the independent territory of Taiwan, all have claims to the South China Sea. There are three main islands, the Paracel Islands, Scarborough Shoal, and the Spratly Islands, which ownership is shared between countries.
Below, are the division lines throughout the South China Sea. This sea is extremely important for international and global economy, trading over $3 trillion of trade each year. Oil and Natural Gas reserves are believed to exist beneath this sea.
Could China’s hostile response reveal their growing animosity towards America? Rather than caring about the safety of human lives, the Chinese Communist Party, uses this opportunity to press American officials in an attempt to gain military information.
Does Zhao Lijian’s statement imply China’s “local marine environment” predominates over the lives and well being of its [American] allies? Was China responsible for the “unknown object”, and the damage to U.S. technology? Could China’s inane public response have been formulated to weaken the world’s view of American accuracy and intelligence?