Furious #China believes #UK spies tracked one of their submarines by bugging a sailor’s Apple smart-watch before the vessel got caught in one of Beijing’s own underwater traps, killing all on board .
Paranoid Beijing officials believe UK spies tracked a stricken submarine by bugging a sailor’s Apple smart-watch, according to Chinese dissidents.
The theory that spooks followed the Type 093 – which become stuck with the loss of 55 lives – has emerged as part of an inquiry into the disaster.
The Mail revealed earlier this week how the vessel was lost in the Yellow Sea on August 21st after colliding with a ‘chain and anchor’ device intended to damage Western submarines.
China has denied the incident took place but, privately, British naval intelligence officers are convinced it did. Officially, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has declined to comment.
Now, dissidents based outside China claim to have obtained copies of the Chinese Communist Party’s investigation, including Western interference.
A dissident told the Mail: ‘We got an update from the Central Military Commission. In the classified report, the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] believes MI6 bugged the Apple watch of a high ranking Navy officer in Guang Dong command and caused the leak of the 093-417 accident.
‘This report has been given to President Xi Jin Ping and the poor official has been arrested. They want to find a scapegoat with foreign connections. They believe the watch was used to record conversations about the submarine in a naval headquarters.
‘PLAN has installed ‘chain and anchors’ in the Yellow Sea, Philippine Sea and the South China Sea and successfully damaged US nuclear submarine Connecticut and other vessels.’
The official US version of what happened to the USS Connecticut in October 2021 was that it sustained damage to its propulsion system after hitting an underwater sea mountain – rather than a man-made obstacle.
However, the report into the accident released by the US Navy did not provide a location for this natural feature – that information was classified.
The loss of the nuclear attack submarine is a huge blow to Chinese prestige – at a time when it is investing hundreds of billions of pounds in its armed forces.
The sinking of PLAN 093-417 is also the third largest loss of life aboard a submarine in maritime history. The worst accident was the sinking of the Russian Kursk vessel in 2000 with the loss of 118 lives.
According to a British naval intelligence officer the crew died from ‘hypoxia due to a system fault on the submarine that took six hours to repair’.
The officer added that the submarine’s ‘onboard oxygen system poisoned the crew after a catastrophic failure’. Rescue efforts were apparently hampered by a thunderstorm.
British submarines are understood to include technology which absorbs carbon dioxide and generates oxygen in such a situation. Seemingly such equipment was not installed in the Chinese submarine.
The 093-417 is one of China’s six nuclear attack submarines and is armed with torpedoes and cruise missiles. It is 351ft-long, 30ft wide and has a top speed of 30 knots.
The Chinese Navy is expected to expand to 65 to 70 submarines by the end of this decade. This is part of a huge £1 trillion investment package by China in its navy between 2024 and 2028.
Already it reportedly has the world’s largest surface fleet, comprising more than 340 warships, but it wants to build more sophisticated craft including more aircraft carriers, submarines and unmanned sea drones.
Western observers believe China intends to dominate the South China Sea and beyond using its increasing naval power and by building bases on coral atolls.
China has militarised at least three islands, arming them with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems. These developments breached previous pledges by Beijing not to do so.