China urges US to stop ‘military interference’ in Asia-Pacific after submarine collision

Two days after the United States moved China and 26 other nations to its trade blacklist, Beijing has asked Washington to stop “close-in reconnaissance, interference, provocation and show of force” in the Asia-Pacific region. Commenting on whether the US military must be accountable for the USS Connecticut nuclear submarine collision and dismissing commanding officer, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson Senior Colonel Wu Qian remarked that since the crash US has maintained a “secretive attitude” that has inevitably raised doubts in the international community, ANI reported.

Demanding answers related to the collision of the nuclear submarine, Qian added that “the US side should answer three questions clearly. Firstly, what is the intention of the US submarine’s navigation? Secondly, what’s the exact location of the collision? Finally, did it cause nuclear leakage of marine environmental pollution?” ANI reported, citing the Chinese Military media centre.

“We urge the US to stop such activities immediately, to avoid beating its head against the wall,” Qian said.

Warning the US in stern language, the defence spokesperson said that Beijing believes that the root cause of the incident is extensive and “high-intensity close-in reconnaissance interference provocation and show of force.” Apart from this, the US military vessels in the Asia-Pacific as well as in the South China Sea are part of “militarisation and navigation hegemony.”

It is pertinent to mention that Qian was referring to the US Navy nuclear-powered attack submarine – US Connecticut- that collided with an unknown submerged object last Saturday in the Pacific waters. The accident took place amid taught tensions between the US and China over a multitude of issues. As per media reports, Connecticut was operating in the waters around the South China Sea as the US and its allies have been participating in a joint multinational ‘show of force’ in the region as a part of Carrier Strike Group 21.

US includes China to ‘Entity list’

The US has moved to blacklist a dozen of Chinese firms and 26 other nations, including Pakistan and Russia to its Military End-User (MEU) for engaging in activities that pose threat to the national security and foreign policy interest of the US. As per the US Commerce Department, 16 blacklisted entities and individuals from the 27 were operating from China and Pakistan. The entities are banned “based on their contributions to Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear activities or ballistic missile program,” the federal agency informed in a statement. The latest US move comes in the backdrop of Washington already banning dozens of Chinese entities that it said were found associated with activities of PLA, or contributing to the army’s development.

(With inputs from ANI)

(Image: AP)

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