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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 8:41 p.m., Monday, November 13, 2006

U.S. commander: China sub came close to carrier group

Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A Chinese submarine came close to the USS Kitty Hawk carrier group in the Pacific Ocean last month, a top U.S. naval commander said today.

The aircraft carrier and supporting ships were conducting war games at the time but were not engaged in anti-submarine exercises, Adm. William Fallon, Hawaii-based commander of U.S. Pacific forces, told reporters.

But they had been, he said, "and if this Chinese sub came in the middle of this, then it could have escalated into something that could have been very unforeseen."

Fallon, who is in Kuala Lumpur for a 23-nation Chief of Defense Forces meeting, gave no other details.

He was commenting on a report on the Washington Times' Web site that said a Chinese submarine "stalked" the Kitty Hawk and surfaced within torpedo firing range.