China Sub Threatens US Fleet?
"David Ewing" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wed, 15 Nov 2006 16:08:16 -0800
Today, Chinese Language versions of this story are flying around the
internet -- probably fuled by the Taiwan CIA. Dave E.
China sub stalked U.S. fleet
By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published November 13, 2006
A Chinese submarine stalked a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group in the
Pacific last month and surfaced within firing range of its torpedoes and
missiles before being detected, The Washington Times has learned.
The surprise encounter highlights China's continuing efforts to prepare
for a future conflict with the U.S., despite Pentagon efforts to try to
boost relations with Beijing's communist-ruled military.
The submarine encounter with the USS Kitty Hawk and its accompanying
warships also is an embarrassment to the commander of U.S. forces in the
Pacific, Adm. William J. Fallon, who is engaged in an ambitious military
exchange program with China aimed at improving relations between the two
Disclosure of the incident comes as Adm. Gary Roughead, commander of the
U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet, is making his first visit to China. The four-star
admiral was scheduled to meet senior Chinese military leaders during the
weeklong visit, which began over the weekend.
According to the defense officials, the Chinese Song-class
diesel-powered attack submarine shadowed the Kitty Hawk undetected and
surfaced within five miles of the carrier Oct. 26.
The surfaced submarine was spotted by a routine surveillance flight by
one of the carrier group's planes.
The Kitty Hawk battle group includes an attack submarine and
anti-submarine helicopters that are charged with protecting the warships
from submarine attack.
According to the officials, the submarine is equipped with Russian-made
wake-homing torpedoes and anti-ship cruise missiles.
The Kitty Hawk and several other warships were deployed in ocean waters
near Okinawa at the time, as part of a routine fall deployment program. The
officials said Chinese submarines rarely have operated in deep water far
from Chinese shores or shadowed U.S. vessels.
A Pacific Command spokesman declined to comment on the incident, saying
details were classified. Pentagon spokesmen also declined to comment.
The incident is a setback for the aggressive U.S.-China military
exchange program being promoted by Adm. Fallon, who has made several visits
to China in recent months in an attempt to develop closer ties.
However, critics of the program in the Pentagon say China has not
reciprocated and continues to deny U.S. military visitors access to key
facilities, including a Beijing command center.
In contrast, Chinese military visitors have been invited to military
exercises and sensitive U.S. facilities. Additionally, military intelligence
officials said Adm. Fallon has restricted U.S. intelligence-gathering
activities against China, fearing that disclosure of the activities would
upset relations with Beijing.
The restrictions are hindering efforts to know more about China's
military buildup, the officials said. "This is a harbinger of a stronger
Chinese reaction to America's military presence in East Asia," said Richard
Fisher, a Chinese military specialist with the International Assessment and
Strategy Center, who called the submarine incident alarming.
"Given the long range of new Chinese sub-launched anti-ship missiles and
those purchased from Russia, this incident is very serious," he said. "It
will likely happen again, only because Chinese submarine captains of 40 to
50 new modern submarines entering their navy will want to test their mettle
against the 7th Fleet."
Pentagon intelligence officials say China's military buildup in recent
years has produced large numbers of submarines and surface ships, seeking to
control larger portions of international waters in Asia, a move U.S.
officials fear could restrict the flow of oil from the Middle East to Asia
in the future.
Between 2002 and last year, China built 14 new submarines, including new
Song-class vessels and several other types, both diesel- and
Since 1996, when the United States dispatched two aircraft carrier
battle groups to waters near Taiwan in a show of force, Beijing also has
bought and built weapons designed specifically to attack U.S. aircraft
carriers and other warships. "The Chinese have made it clear that they
understand the importance of the submarine in any kind of offensive or
defensive strategy to deal with a military conflict," an intelligence
official said recently.
In late 2004, China dispatched a Han-class submarine to waters near
Guam, Taiwan and Japan. Japan's military went on emergency alert after the
submarine surfaced in Japanese waters.
Beijing apologized for the incursion. The Pentagon's latest annual
report on Chinese military power stated that China is investing heavily in
weapons designed "to interdict, at long ranges, aircraft carrier and
expeditionary strike groups that might deploy to the western Pacific."
It could not be learned whether the U.S. government lodged a protest
with China's government over the incident or otherwise raised the matter in
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