Chinese aircraft surveilled US, Japan, France’s naval drill


The Japanese defence ministry reported the sighting of one Y-9 reconnaissance variant in the Pacific on Thursday…reports Asian Lite News

China deployed a reconnaissance plane over Pacific waters east of Taiwan last week that Chinese media said monitored and gathered intelligence on an exercise involving the navies of the United States, Japan, France and Canada.

A Y-9 cargo aircraft variant fitted with intelligence-gathering equipment most likely monitored and collected intelligence on the exercise, Chinese state-backed Global Times reported on Sunday, citing analysts.

Two U.S. aircraft carriers, the USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan, had been operating around the geopolitically important Ryukyu Islands in the Philippine Sea since Thursday, Global Times cited a Beijing-based think tank as saying.

The islands separate the East China Sea from the Philippine Sea, and dot the West Pacific between Japan and Taiwan, which China claims as its territory.

On Friday, the U.S. kicked off the exercise in the Philippine Sea, with two carrier strike groups jointly operating for the first time since June 2020, the U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement.

The Japanese defence ministry reported the sighting of one Y-9 reconnaissance variant in the Pacific on Thursday.

Military encounters between China and the United States and its allies in the Western Pacific have risen in recent years as China has grown increasingly assertive in the East and South China Seas, as well as around Taiwan.

Days before the quadrilateral exercise, the coast guards of the Philippines, United States and Japan held their first trilateral exercise off the coast of a western Philippine province.

‘Chinese spy base operating in Cuba for years’

A Chinese spy base in Cuba that could intercept electronic signals from nearby US military and commercial buildings has been operating since or before 2019 when the Chinese base was upgraded, The News York Times reported citing a Biden administration official.

The official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence said that the spy base was an issue that the Biden administration had inherited from former US President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported. After Biden assumed office as US President, his administration was given details regarding the base and plans which China was considering to set up similar facilities around the world, according to official.

The official said that the Biden administration has been making efforts to counter China’s efforts to gain a foothold in the region and elsewhere and adding that they are doing it mainly by engaging diplomatically with nations that Beijing was pursuing as potential hosts for such bases. According to the official, the administration had slowed China’s plans. However, they did not provide details regarding the matter.

In a joint statement on Thursday, US Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the panel’s top Republican, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said they were “deeply disturbed” by reports that Cuba and China are working together to target the US and its people, according to The New York Times. Earlier this week, the US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby refuted the reports calling them “not accurate.” He said that they have had “real concerns” regarding China’s ties with Cuba and “we have been concerned since Day 1 of the administration about China’s activities in our hemisphere and around the world,” as per The New York Times report

ALSO READ-Chinese aircraft forays into Taiwan’s ADIZ on Christmas

[mc4wp_form id=""]