In a stunning revelation, it has been disclosed that China and the US were engaged in a high-stakes military confrontation mere 150 kilometers away from Hong Kong in early 2021.
The intensity of the situation prompted the US to take a bold step and destroy its floating sonars to prevent them from falling into Beijing’s hands, reported SCMP.
One day before the deadly riots on January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump had gathered outside the Capitol building in Washington.
On that same day, the report said three US military aircraft embarked on an unusual submarine hunt, conducting operations remarkably close to China’s shoreline.
A team of Chinese military scientists has released the first open report on the January 5 incident, which includes a significant disclosure.
The report disclosed that a US anti-submarine plane flew close to Hong Kong, reaching as close as 150 kilometers (93 miles).
The report further said that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) acted swiftly by deploying a classified counterforce during the US naval exercise, but the nature and size of this response remain classified.
Led by Liu Dongqing from PLA Unit 95510, the research team emphasized that US activities significantly threatened China’s national security. The study highlighted that such actions could severely impede the critical missions of Chinese submarines during wartime.
The report said that US spy planes strategically placed sensors in the waters near the Dongsha Islands, which are also referred to as the Pratas Islands. These islands consist of atolls and reefs under Taiwan’s control.
The deployment of these sensors indicates the involvement of the United States in monitoring activities in the region, adding to the complexity of the situation surrounding these contested waters.
In contrast to other disputed islands in the South China Sea, where the United States has been conducting freedom of navigation operations to challenge what it perceives as China’s excessive claims, the Dongsha Islands are claimed solely by Taipei and Beijing.
In this case, the absence of broader territorial claims by other countries sets the Dongsha Islands apart from other contentious areas in the region.
China Accuses US Of Monitoring, Blocking, And Containing Chinese Subs
The United States, according to Chinese researchers, has devoted significant efforts to target China’s submarine forces in recent years specifically. They contend that this intensified focus is part of a larger pattern of increased US military activities within the South China Sea region.
The report added that the US utilizes sophisticated tools such as sonar buoys and sensors to locate submarines even when operating at significant depths below the surface.
The scientists from the PLA assert that the techniques employed by the United States pose a “severe threat” to China’s submarines, significantly impeding their ability to operate covertly within the region.
According to Liu’s team, the US uses a deliberate tactic of flying spy planes at low altitudes of around 60 meters, which is relatively close to the ground and poses safety risks.
This tactic enhances the ability to detect and track submarines, especially by anti-submarine patrol aircraft such as the US Navy’s P-8A.
The report revealed that the US military deployed several aircraft to locate Chinese submarines, which operated in a coordinated manner to achieve their goals.
The team led by Liu Dongqing from the PLA’s electronic warfare unit noted that the US intended to monitor, block and contain China’s activities.
The US military maintained a persistent presence in the area by conducting multiple flights over an extended period, enabling them to gather extensive information about Chinese submarine activity and enhancing their situational awareness and surveillance capabilities.
In response to the US efforts, PLA researchers have proposed measures to counteract them, as suggested in the latest study.
China’s electronic warfare capabilities could disrupt or jam US floating sonar systems, hindering submarine detection. China is also developing realistic decoys to deceive US sonar systems by mimicking submarine sounds and movements.
The Chinese military also collaborates with private companies to enhance submarine stealth technology.
That being said, the disclosed information highlights the escalated military activities and countermeasures being taken by both sides.