China fears nuclear leak after US submarine hit unknown object in South China Sea

China: Xi Jinping 'in a hurry' over Taiwan claims expert

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US officials shared a nuclear powered US Navy attack submarine struck an object while submerged in international waters. Eleven sailors were hurt, with two suffering moderate injuries, in the South China Sea incident.

China’s Foreign Ministry was gravely concerned by the US submarine incident.

According to state media outlet The Global Times, Zhao Lijian, foreign ministry spokesman, urged the US to share details of the incident.

They said the spokesman expressed “grave concerns” and want to know what was the “purpose of cruising”.

Mr Zhao also stressed the US should share “whether it caused a nuclear leak or damaged the marine environment”.

In a brief statement on Thursday, US Pacific Fleet said the USS Connecticut remained in a “safe and stable condition”.

They said the incident took place on Saturday, October 2 but added: “The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed.”

US officials told ABC.net.au said it was not yet clear what object the sub had struck but that it was not another submarine.

Officials said the submarine was now headed towards Guam under its own power for further inspections.

It comes as reports suggested the US has been secretly maintaining a small contingent of military trainers in Taiwan for at least a year. 

Now, Chinese media outlets said Beijing’s foreign ministry is prepared to protect themselves.

In a statement, China’s foreign ministry issued a statement urging the US to stop military aid to Taiwan.

It said: “China will take all necessary steps to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

They also added: “The US should fully recognize the high sensitivity of the Taiwan question, abide by the one-China principle, and stop arms sales to Taiwan island and military contact with it so as not to seriously damage China-US relations and peace and stability across the Straits.”

According to reports from The Wall Street Journal, around two dozen US special forces soldiers and an unspecified number of marines are training Taiwanese forces.

The trainers were first sent to Taiwan by the Trump administration but their presence had not been reported until now.

US troops have not been permanently based on the island since 1979, when Washington established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.

John Supple, Pentagon spokesman, would not comment directly on the report but noted added “our support for and defense relationship with Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat” from China.

The Global Times, state media outlet, said on Friday China’s state council “strongly opposed any form of military collusion between Taiwan and the United States”.

It added: “We urge the US to abide Three Communiqués on the Taiwan issue and stop any provocations. 

The DPP authorities work with external forces to seek ‘independence’ and reject reunification. 

“This has led the people of Taiwan to disaster, and their attempts are bound to fail.”

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