Chinese Navy frigates pass close to Taiwan

Three Chinese vessels were on their way back from Middle East and Europe

A Chinese Navy frigate of the 054A type.

A Chinese Navy frigate of the 054A type. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Three Chinese Navy vessels passed close by Taiwan on their way back to China Tuesday, according to reports quoting Japanese defense circles.

The reports came on the day that Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense accused China of intimidation for publishing a picture which seemed to show a Chinese Air Force plane heading for the island’s tallest peak, the Yushan.

Also on Tuesday, a Chinese court sentenced a Taiwanese human rights activist to five years in prison for so-called “subversive activities.”

The Chinese Navy frigates Yangzhou (揚州) and Huanggang (黃岡), and the supply vessel Gaoyouhu (高郵湖) headed north on Tuesday from the seas east of Taiwan and through Japan’s Miyako area back to China, the Japanese defense ministry said. The Japanese sent a P-3C anti-submarine aircraft to observe the passage.

The same ships form part of the 26th convoy fleet which patrolled off Yemen and Somalia to guard against pirates. Last September, the frigates visited the port of Antwerp in Belgium and were seen in London a month later.

The type 054A frigates Yangzhou and Huanggang can attack surface ships and submarines while also providing air defense up to a range of 50 kilometers.