China spy plane spotted in Taiwan Strait during preparatory drills for Han Kuang Exercises

The Ministry of National Defense released a statement that a PLAAF Shaanxi Y-8 reconnaissance plane was spotted near the center line of the strait, west of Taichung during a morning military drill on Thursday, May 24

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Images from CNA and Google Maps

Images from CNA and Google Maps

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MOND) organized a rehearsal exercise for the upcoming 34th annual Han Kuang (漢光) military exercises at the Ching Chuang Kang Military Base (清泉崗基地) outside Taichung City on Thursday morning May 24.

During the practice exercises, a Chinese Shaanxi Y-8 reconnaissance plane was spotted just west of the midline in the Taiwan Strait, likely to spy on radio activity from the exercises.

This morning was the first preparatory exercise to be organized before the official start of the Han Kuang military drills which are scheduled to take place from June 4 to June 8.

China has been dispatching the Shaanxi Y-8 aircraft to spy on Taiwan’s military with increasing frequency, with the spy planes reported on May 14 and May 17. The MOND considered it very likely that the PLAAF would use the military exercises today as an opportunity to try and collect intelligence.

Liberty Times reports that MOND has issued a statement that the spy plane has not jeopardized any military intelligence, and that the situation was thoroughly monitored and remains under control.