Chinese attack sub encounter puts Taiwan's navy on alert
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's military was investigating a news report Saturday that a nuclear submarine from rival China surfaced and nearly collided with a patrol of navy vessels off a Taiwanese-held island.
The Chinese attack sub -- a Han-class nuclear-powered vessel -- suddenly surfaced and appeared to be heading for five Taiwanese ships near Kinmen island on July 25, according to Saturday's edition of the Apple Daily, which didn't cite any sources.
The Taiwanese ships spotted the submarine and prepared for a confrontation. Three speedboats equipped with missiles were called in to assist, and the alert lasted 10 minutes before the Chinese submarine passed by without incident, the paper said.
If the Taiwanese ships hadn't located the submarine and halted, they might have collided with the Chinese vessel, the newspaper reported.
Taiwan's military wouldn't immediately confirm or deny the report, but said it was investigating.
China and Taiwan split at the end of a civil war in 1949, but Beijing still threatens the use of force if the self-ruled, democratic island moves toward formal independence. Reports of Chinese spy ships and other military vessels approaching Taiwanese waters are frequent and often occur during war games.
Kinmen is a Taiwanese-held island just off the coast of mainland China. (AP)
September 17, 2005
Doesn't say much for Taiwans ASW capability.