China on Thursday denied reports that one of its submarines had followed a group of US warships and surfaced near the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean last month.
Adm. William Fallon, commander of US Pacific Command, told reporters in Malaysia on Tuesday that the carrier and its supporting ships were conducting exercises in an unidentified location when the encounter occurred, confirming an incident first reported in The Washington Times.
"According to our knowledge, the report in The Washington Times is not in line with fact," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular news conference in Beijing. She gave no other details.
Fallon said the carrier group was not engaged in anti-submarine exercises, but if it had been, "and if this Chinese sub came in the middle of this, then it could have escalated into something that could have been very unforeseen."