Six Chinese military vessels pass through Miyako Strait

Taiwan Ministry of Defense says live-fire drill in Pingtung not affected

Chinese destroyer Xining (Source: Ministry of Defense of Japan)

Chinese destroyer Xining (Source: Ministry of Defense of Japan)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Six Chinese military vessels passed through the Miyako Strait, located between the Japanese islands of Miyako and Okinawa, to enter West Pacific last week, but they did not affect the live-fire drill taking place on the east coast of Taiwan.

Japan's Ministry of Defense confirmed that the Luyang III-class destroyer Xining (西寧), Jiangkai II-class frigates Daqing (大慶) and Rizhao (日照), and type 901 fast combat support ship “Hulun Lake (呼倫湖) passed through the strait on July 25. It later announced that another two vessels, a second Luyang III-class destroyer and a third Jiangkai II-class frigate, were spotted following suit on July 27.

Japan believes the six military vessels will conduct exercises in the West Pacific Ocean. The first four vessels were previously spotted passing through the same waters on June 10.

The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense (MND) said during a conference this morning (July 30) that the vessels have not entered nor approached the waters near Jiupeng base (九鵬基地), which is located on the eastern coast of Pingtung. Lt. Gen. Li Chao-ming (李兆明) told the press that the appearance of the warships did not affect the annual live-fire drill taking place at the base on Monday (July 29).

China's navy is also conducting exercises near the Zhoushan Islands and Dongshan Island from Sunday (July 28) to Thursday (August 1). The MND said it would continue to closely monitor the Chinese military activities.