Chinese warship sails past Taiwan’s east coast

Ship passed just 24 nautical miles from Taiwan, Ministry of National Defense says

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Chinese military activity close to Taiwan has intensified over the past year 

Chinese military activity close to Taiwan has intensified over the past year  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese warship sailed just 24 nautical miles (44 km) from Taiwan’s east coast on Wednesday (Sept. 16), according to the Ministry of National Defense.

The military detected the ship late Wednesday afternoon some 39 nautical miles east of the Qingshui scenic area in Hualien County, CNA reported. It proceeded south to reach the waters off Taitung County’s Orchid Island before disappearing early Thursday (Sept. 17) morning.

The Chinese vessel had probably entered the Bashi Channel separating Taiwan from the Philippines, the military said. It added that it had monitored the warship all along its route east of the country.

On Sept. 9 and 10, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted drills in an area to the southwest, as close as 166 kilometers from Taiwan. The Ministry of National Defense labeled the exercises a grave provocation.

Wednesday’s appearance of a ship off the east coast was the latest in a long series of incidents featuring Chinese warplanes and warships moving close to Taiwan. The frequency of the incidents has led the ministry to set up a real-time platform on its website to update such movements.