"If true, this would be yet another case of China trying to show us that they can hold our forces in the region at risk," said Forbes.
"Coming on the heels of anti-satellite tests and other demonstrations, this latest incident should be a reminder of the destabilizing course that China is on and the challenges we face in maintaining a stable military balance in the Asia-Pacific region," Forbes added.
According to the Free Beacon, China military specialist at the International Assessment and Strategy Center Rick Fisher noted that the Chinese navy "operates several types of submarines capable of firing anti-ship cruise missiles."
Additionally, eight of China's 12 Russian-made Kilo-class submarines have the capacity to fire Club anti-ship missiles with a range of up to 137 miles.
He added that the incident, "certainly runs counter to a 2014 U.S.-China agreement to avoid such incidents at sea, which could indicate that China may have little intention to honor such this or other military confidence building agreements."
The Free Beacon reports that "a Chinese Embassy spokesman did not respond to an email request for comment."