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“China’s Vanishing Submarine, Defense Minister’s Mysterious Disappearance Sparks Speculation!”

The "loss" of the Chinese nuclear submarine occurred at nearly the same time as the "disappearance" of Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu, who has not been seen in public for a month, although foreign media reports suggest he is being investigated for "corruption."

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) – The question of whether a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine has truly “disappeared” in the Taiwan Strait remains unanswered until now, despite the alleged “accident” said to have occurred about a month ago.

 Not only has the question of the nuclear-powered submarine gone unanswered, but speculations about its fate and the fate of its crew have been intensifying lately.

All the crew members of the submarine are said to have perished due to the accident.

Reports of the “loss” of a nuclear-powered Shang-class submarine emerged shortly after China conducted military exercises in the waters around Taiwan last month.

China’s large-scale military exercises were seen as a “warning” to Taiwan and its main supporter, the United States.

Shang Sub
China’s Shang-class nuclear submarine.

 

China’s Ministry of Defense has never commented on the speculation regarding the “loss” of its submarine in its press briefings, even though foreign media outlets have been buzzing about the alleged underwater asset accident.

Chinese media, mostly controlled by the government or the Chinese Communist Party, have also not reported any news regarding the alleged submarine incident.

The “loss” of the Chinese nuclear submarine occurred at nearly the same time as the “disappearance” of Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu, who has not been seen in public for a month, although foreign media reports suggest he is being investigated for “corruption.”

When asked about the incident involving the Chinese nuclear-powered submarine, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense merely stated last month that it had “no information to confirm.”

 However, this week, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense tone has changed when asked about claims related to an accident involving a Chinese submarine in the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from mainland China.

Now, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense states, “The matter in question touches on sensitivities. It is not our place to comment.”

Shang
China’s Jin-class (Type 094A) nuclear submarine.

 

Reports also state that the “accident” involving the Chinese Shang-class nuclear submarine is now said to have occurred in the Yellow Sea, not in the Taiwan Strait as previously reported.

Deputy Director of the Intelligence Office of Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense, Major General Huang Wengqi, reportedly stated that he would not comment on the “accident” claims involving the Chinese Shang-class submarine because the information about it is “highly classified.”

Reports of the “accident” involving the Shang-class nuclear submarine of China began to surface on August 21, with reports also mentioning that approximately 100 crew members of the submarine had perished in the incident.

The Shang-class nuclear submarine is one of China’s most capable submarines, although it is described as a second-generation nuclear-powered submarine.

There are also upgraded variants of the Shang-class submarine, namely, the Type 093A and Type 093B.

 However, accidents involving Chinese submarines are not something new.

On April 25, 2003, a group of Chinese fishermen who were fishing discovered a periscope in the middle of the sea and reported it to their country’s military, which then sent two warships to investigate the periscope, which was eventually confirmed to belong to one of their own submarines.

Shang
China nuclear submarine crew.

 

 Initially, the Chinese Navy believed that the periscope belonged to an enemy submarine, either from South Korea or Japan, conducting reconnaissance missions in Chinese waters.

However, further investigations shocked them when they found that the periscope belonged to one of their own submarines, the Ming-class submarine with the identification number “361.”

The Ming-class submarine is an old-fashioned submarine design based on the Russian Romeo-class submarine.

 Further examination of the stranded submarine in the middle of the sea led to a heartbreaking discovery as they found the bodies of 70 crew members of the diesel/electric submarine, including a senior naval officer of the country known as Commodore Chen Fuming.

The incident involving the Ming-class submarine “361” was one of the largest incidents involving the Chinese military in peacetime.

However, detailed information about the incident is still unknown as China is “extremely secretive” about what happens within its armed forces, especially incidents involving its personnel. — DSA

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