China on Thursday denied reports that one of its submarines had followed a group of U.S. warships and surfaced near the carrier Kitty Hawk in the Pacific Ocean last month.
Adm. William Fallon, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told reporters in Malaysia on Tuesday that the carrier and its supporting ships were conducting exercises in an unidentified location when the encounter occurred, confirming an incident first reported in The Washington Times.
“According to our knowledge, the report in The Washington Times is not in line with fact,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular news conference in Beijing. She gave no other details.
As noted yesterday, there are many reasons why both sides might misrepresent the facts of this incident. China might want to look like they’ve made great advances by touting their successful “hunt”, or they might want to look like they’ve made great advances by denying that they performed a “hunt” at all and leaving everyone to believe that they’re lying.
I suspect that internal politics within the US (and particularly within the Pentagon) are as tangled as the international politics on this one.
UPDATE: EaglesSpeak posts a picture of the Kitty Hawk group that I almost posted myself yesterday with the caption “Hopefully this wasn’t taken from a Chinese submarine or an Iranian UAV…”
And CDR Salamander has a good post on this, as well. Be sure to read it and to check out the comments.