Chinese military reconnaissance ship appears east of Taiwan

Three US Navy amphibious attack vessels pass close to Orchid Island

Chinese Navy ships in the Pacific 

Chinese Navy ships in the Pacific  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese navy reconnaissance ship appeared in the Pacific east of Hualien County, as three United States Navy vessels passed near Orchid Island further down Taiwan’s east coast, reports said Friday (Sept. 11).

The latest naval movements come less than a day after the Ministry of National Defense expressed its displeasure about aggressive behavior from China’s military over the past two days. This included numerous incursions by warplanes into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

At 4 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 10), a Chinese “ocean research” vessel sailed north to south past Hualien, just 40 nautical miles (74 kilometers) from the Taiwan coast, CNA reported. By Friday morning, it had moved to a distance of 90 nautical miles from the coast, and was sailing slowly south.

The type of ship is frequently used by the Chinese to approach the Bashi Channel separating the Philippines from Taiwan and to collect military information about movements in the area south and east of the island, military sources told CNA.

On Sept. 7, three U.S. amphibious assault vessels sailed 51 nautical miles east of Taitung County’s Orchid Island in a northerly direction before leaving the area. In each case, the military said they were fully aware of all movements around Taiwan, both on the sea and in the air.