- The ships then proceeded to make their way northeast via the Osumi Strait and into the Pacific Ocean.
- According to the press statement, the PLAN ships were observed by replenishment ship JS Oumi (AOE-426), multifunctional support ship JS Amakusa (AMS-4303)
According to statements made by the Japan Ministry of Defense, three Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) hydrographic survey ships passed through the Japanese Straits this week, while a PLAN corvette passed the Senkaku Islands by sailing south last week.
According to the Japanese Self-Defense Force, a PLAN corvette was spotted on July 22 cruising roughly 50 miles to the west of the Senkaku Islands’ Uotsuri Islands. The corvette then made its way into the Pacific Ocean by sailing south between Taiwan and Yonaguni Island, which is a part of the Yaeyama Islands.
On Wednesday, the corvette was seen heading northward and 44 miles to the west of Uotsuri Island. After that, the PLAN ship headed into the East China Sea.
The corvette is identified as CNS Xiaogan by the photograph and pennant number provided in the release (615). In accordance with the press statement, the PLAN ship was being watched by the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force destroyer JS Yudachi (DD-103) and JMSDF P-3C Orions Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) from Fleet Air Wing 5 flying out of Naha Air Base, Okinawa.
Japan is in charge of the Senkaku Islands, but China and Taiwan also have claims to them. Concerns regarding PLAN actions close to the islands have been expressed by Japan.
However, China asserts that its actions surrounding the islands, which it refers to as the Diaoyu Islands, are legal. Senior Col. Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, stated that Japan’s assertions were “irresponsible” and that PLAN activities in the waters surrounding the Diaoyu Islands were valid and legal during a press conference on Thursday at the Ministry of National Defense.
He stated, “We urge the Japanese side to stop any provocative activities, manage disagreements through communication and negotiation, and avoid triggering unforeseen marine incidents.
Also on Thursday, a pair of PLAN Shupang class hydrographic survey boats flying the pennants 23 and 25 were seen sailing northeast in a region 150 miles away from Yokoate Island, a member of the Tokara Islands group. The ships then proceeded to make their way northeast via the Osumi Strait and into the Pacific Ocean.
According to the press statement, the PLAN ships were observed by replenishment ship JS Oumi (AOE-426), multifunctional support ship JS Amakusa (AMS-4303), a JMSDF P-1 MPA of Fleet Air Wing 1 operating out of JMSDF Kanoya Air Base, Kyushu, and a JMSDF P-3C Orion of Fleet Air Wing 5.
A hydrographic survey ship of the Shupang class flying pennant number 22 was seen sailing northeast on Friday in a region 25 miles west of Tsushima. It then continued northeast via the Tsushima Strait and entered the Sea of Japan. JMSDF P-1 MPAs from Fleet Air Wings 1 and 4 stationed at Naval Air Facility Atsugi and JMSDF Kanoya Air Base, respectively, kept an eye on the PLAN ship.
Prior to Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) travel to Asia, the United States has not dispatched any ships near Taiwan, a senior military official told reporters on Friday, referring additional inquiries to the State Department. If Pelosi will travel to Taiwan is unknown.
Hu Xijin, a columnist for the Global Times, tweeted that it would be viewed as an invasion if the United States sent fighter jets to accompany Pelosi’s plane.