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Chinese warships spotted off Taiwan's Orchid Island for 3rd time in 4 days

PLAN warships spotted off Orchid Island on Feb. 28, March 1, and March 2

(Weibo, Eastern Theater Command photo)

(Weibo, Eastern Theater Command photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese warships were spotted in waters off of Taiwan's Orchid Island for the third time in four days on Wednesday (March 2).

Three People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warships were detected 50 nautical miles off the southeast coast of Orchid Island Wednesday evening, according to a military source who spoke to CNA. By 8 a.m. on Thursday (March 3), the ships were 80 nautical miles to the southeast of Orchid Island and were deemed to have entered the Bashi Channel.

The source stated that from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Tuesday (March 1), a Chinese missile frigate also appeared 50 nautical miles off Orchid Island and was headed south. Monday evening (Feb. 28), three PLAN warships appeared 35 nautical miles off the coast of Orchid Island, marking the closest the Chinese military vessels had come to the island over that four-day period.

The Navy stated that whenever military ships enter the waters surrounding Taiwan, the armed forces' joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems can monitor and assess the entire process.