The Hong Kong-registered vessel NewNew Polar Bear was in the vicinity of two different Baltic Sea pipelines when they were damaged earlier in October, and has now become the focus of the police investigation.
The Chinese government has cautioned Finland and Estonia about an ongoing investigation into damage to undersea cables in the Baltic Sea, which authorities have described as 'sabotage'.
It comes after Finnish police revealed that a Hong Kong-registered ship called the NewNew Polar Bear was sailing in the vicinity of the Finland-Estonia gas and communications pipeline when it was badly damaged in October.
Investigators say it will take months to fix, and that the damage was caused "by an external mechanical force," rather than an explosion. Attempts will be made to raise the large, heavy object found on the seabed close to the damaged pipe for technical examination.
Now, China has called for an "objective, fair and professional" investigation into the Baltic Connector pipeline damage.
"It is understood the Chinese vessel was normal in the relevant waters at the time of the incident, and no abnormalities were found due to the poor sea conditions at that time," Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, told reporters on Monday.
Also on Monday, Moscow repeated that it had nothing to do with any damaged pipelines. A Kremlin spokesperson made the remarks at a regular press briefing.
Meanwhile Sweden has also reported that an undersea telecommunications cable which runs under the Baltic Sea to Estonia has been partially damaged - and authorities believe it happened at the same time as damage to the Baltic Connector gas pipeline.
The NewNew Polar Bear vessel was also in the same area when the damage is understood to have happened to the Swedish pipeline.