TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese naval reconnaissance vessel and a U.S. Navy destroyer have been spotted off the east coast of Taiwan on Wednesday (July 14).
A People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Type 815 spy ship, the Beijixing (AGI-851), on Wednesday morning was detected heading southbound off the coast of Hualien County, reported CNA. Meanwhile, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG-91) was sighted off the coast of Taitung County's Lanyu Township the same day.
A military source told the news agency the PLAN reconnaissance ship appeared on Tuesday (July 13) about 40 nautical miles (75 km) to the east of Hualien County's Jingpu Village, moving from north to south. At 7 a.m. on Wednesday, the spy ship was spotted 43 nautical miles off the cape of Wushibi in Taitung County's Changbin Township continuing on a southerly course.
At 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the USS Pickney reportedly entered the Pacific Ocean via the Bashi Channel. By 5 a.m., it was 44 nautical miles to the southeast of Orchid Island. According to military analysts, a number of Type 815 spy ships have prowled off the east coast of Taiwan in recent years, including sightings of the Tianlangxing (Sirius), Tianquanxing (Megrez), and Haiwangxing (Neptune).
In response to the sightings of the two vessels, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said that it monitored the passage of the ships and the "situation is normal."
PLAN Beijixing. (Wikimedia Commons photo)