The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday rebutted media reports alleging that Chinese spy ships had tried to collect information about computer-stimulated exercises conducted by the military near Taiwanese waters last week.
The computer scenario, which simulated an attack from China and was part of the Han Kuang 28 series of military exercises, was held between Monday and Friday last week.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) East Sea Fleet and South Sea Fleet had dispatched electronic spy ships to collect information on the computer-assisted exercise. The vessels remained in international waters off Taiwan’s south and northeast coast, the report added.
The report said the ministry initially thought this was regular activity, but after a senior military official identified that the ships were spy craft trying to collect information, he ordered the ministry’s Communications Development Office to monitor their activity, the report said, adding that the PLAN may have succeeded in acquiring classified information in the process.
In a press statement, the ministry said it monitored all the activities of the Chinese ships and aircraft near Taiwan’s waters during the period in which the computer-stimulated exercises took place, adding the claims by the Apple Daily were “baseless.”
It added that the computer war games were staged using a closed, military Internet system and that there was no way electronic information could have been collected through airwaves.
This year’s computer scenario included P-3C “Orion” maritime patrol aircraft and AH-64D Longbow attack helicopters, among other virtual platforms to review how they would fare in a combat environment. The two arms systems are scheduled to enter into service over the next year.