Two Chinese naval vessels reportedly spotted off Taiwan's east coast
Taipei, Sept. 24 (CNA) Two military vessels from China were seen off the east of Taiwan, in the Pacific Ocean, over the past two days, a military source said Friday.
One of them, a Chinese missile frigate, was spotted 40 nautical miles, or roughly 74 kilometers, off the coast of Hualien County at around 3 a.m. Thursday, presumably heading south into the Bashi Channel, the source said.
The second vessel, also a frigate, seen about 24 hours later, some 116 nautical miles off the coast of Green Island, which lies 33 km away from the eastern Taiwan country of Taitung, the source said.
The second frigate went off the radar of Taiwan's Navy at noon Friday, the source said but did not give any information on the direction of that ship.
The two frigates were People's Liberation Army (PLA) vessels, and the purpose of their navigation so close to Taiwan was unclear, according to the source.
Patrol ships from the Taiwan Navy's 131st Fleet in Keelung City were deployed on both occasions to monitor the activities of the PLA frigates, the source said.
Ministry of National Defense spokesman Shih Shun-wen (史順文) declined to comment Friday on the report, saying only that Taiwan's military is always on guard regarding military activities near the country.
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