Three Chinese naval vessels spotted off Taiwan's Orchid Island
Taipei, March 3 (CNA) Three Chinese military vessels were observed southeast of Orchid Island on Wednesday night, a military source told CNA Thursday.
All three People's Liberation Army (PLA) vessels were spotted after 10 p.m. Wednesday, 50 nautical miles or roughly 92.6 kilometers, off Orchid Island, which lies to the southeast of Taitung County in the Pacific Ocean.
By 8 a.m. Thursday, the vessels were then seen 80 nautical miles or roughly 148.16 km, away from the island, most likely moving towards the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines, the source said.
Additionally, the source said that one PLA missile frigate was spotted 50 nautical miles off Orchid Island between 7-11 p.m. Tuesday night, heading south.
Three other PLA naval vessels were also spotted at night Monday, Feb. 28, 35 nautical miles or roughly 64.82 km from the island, moving south.
The source said that Monday's sighting was the closest that PLA ships have been observed around the Taiwanese island recently, but the purpose of their navigation so close to Taiwan was unclear.
The activities of naval vessels entering the waters around Taiwan are tracked by intelligence and monitoring systems deployed by Taiwan's military, the source said.
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