Washington (AFP) June 13, 2009
A Chinese submarine collided with an underwater sonar array towed by the destroyer USS John S. McCain off the coast of the Philippines, CNN television said, quoting a US official who said it was an "inadvertent encounter."
The array, used to locate underwater sounds, was damaged in the incident, but the military official said the sub and ship did not collide.
The US Navy did not consider the event a case of deliberate harassment, CNN reported.
In March this year two tense standoffs between US and Chinese vessels in the South China Sea triggered accusations by the United States that China was behaving in an "aggressive" manner.
China later said a US naval vessel involved in the incident with Chinese fishing boats in the Yellow Sea had violated maritime law, and urged the United States to take steps to avoid a repetition.
Philippine Navy officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ferdinand Golez said they have no information on the alleged incident.
He also said that the USS John S. McCain was not in the Philippines and that Chinese submarines should not be passing through Philippine waters. However he admitted that the Philippine military has no equipment to detect such submarines.
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