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‘Highly unusual event’ Chinese Nuclear Submarine in ‘EMBARRASSING’ South China Sea incident
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Published 3 years ago |
The Type 094 (simplified Chinese: 09-IV型核潜艇; traditional Chinese: 09-IV型核潛艇; Chinese designation: 09-IV; NATO reporting name: Jin class) is a class of ballistic missile submarine developed by China for the People's Liberation Army Navy Submarine Force. The Type 094 succeeds the Type 092 submarine.

An enormous nuclear submarine has mysteriously surfaced in the disputed South China Sea in what experts have described as a ‘highly unusual event’.

Vietnamese fishermen got a big surprise when a 11,000 ton submarine surfaced among their boats. The incident reportedly occurred in September but has only recently come to light via social media. The Chinese Navy Jin Class ballistic missile submarine was operating near the Paracel Islands. The islands, known as Xisha in Chinese, are in a strategic location in the South China Sea. They are controlled by China but also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.

The Jin Class is the newest missile submarine in the Chinese arsenal. Six have been built and it is already the backbone of China's at-sea nuclear deterrent. The submarines are based near Sanya on the island of Hainan, about 190 miles northwest of the Paracel Islands.

Nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines can operate submerged for months at a time and stay hidden beneath the waves throughout their patrol. Surfacing next to another country's vessel is unusual and suggests that something had gone wrong. Something serious enough to warrant sacrificing its main asset: stealth. This is not the type of submarine you would expect to be used to send a message.
Submarines and fishing vessels do not mix well. In 1984 a Soviet submarine became entangled in the nets of a Norwegian fishing trawler. After hours of trying to free itself the submarine had to surface, exposing its mission off the NATO country. The consequences can be far worse. In 1990 a British submarine drove through the nets of a small fishing boat off Scotland. All four crew died when their boat was dragged under.
So possibly the submarine had become entangled in a fishing net, or feared that it would be. Surfacing may have saved the lives of the fishermen, or the submariners. Ironically the risks associated with fishing nets may be a factor in Chinese missile submarines patrol the South China Sea instead of the more congested East China Sea and Yellow Sea.
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