Taiwan navy rebuts claims of communication with China naval vessel

2018/05/13 22:43:11 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
China's first domestically built aircraft carrier Type 001A/photo courtesy of China News Service

China's first domestically built aircraft carrier Type 001A/photo courtesy of China News Service

Taipei, May 13 (CNA) Taiwan's Navy rebutted claims of communicating with China's Navy out at sea in the wake of a media report describing one of Taiwan's Navy ships to have put themselves in an awkward situation when greeted by a Chinese naval vessel.

The statement came following media reports that during a press event aboard the Ma'anshan, a People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy frigate, a press officer said the ship had communicated with a Taiwanese naval vessel at sea.

It was said that the frigate, as a formality, called out to the Taiwanese ship from a distance, which led Taiwanese naval personnel into a flustered discussion over whether to refer to the PLA as "friendly army" or "dear army."

The press officer also explained that due to a microphone being turned on the whole time on the Taiwanese ship, their conversation was heard by officers and personnel aboard the Ma'anshan.

The Republic of China Navy Fleet Command in a press release refuted the claim, saying that in addition to maintaining radio silence with unknown ships and not establishing communication, it will also ask unidentified vessels to leave if they are near Taiwanese waters.

The media report has excessively exaggerated the circumstances, the press release said, asking the media to not mislead readers.

Taiwan's naval fleet normally maintains a high level of combat readiness while safeguarding the seas around Taiwan, the press release affirmed, calling for citizens not to panic.

Meanwhile, in response to China's first domestically built aircraft carrier Type 001A leaving the northeastern port of Dalian Sunday for sea trials, military spokesman Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said the Ministry of National Defense will continue to monitor the situation.

The undated photo shows China's first domestically built aircraft carrier Type 001A and its ski jump-style deck for taking off (photo courtesy of China News Service).

(By Matt Yu and William Yen)
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