A Chinese intelligence vessel has been cruising the Alaskan coast, arriving just before the U.S. conducted a test of their THAAD missile defense system Monday night.
U.S. Navy Capt. Scott Miller, spokesperson for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said Friday that US intelligence officials have confirmed the presence of what is believed to be a Chinese “communications” or “intelligence” vessel roughly 100 miles off the coast of Alaska in international waters.
Miller wouldn’t speculate on the reason for the ship being there, but other officials have noted that it is possible it was there to observe the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) test. They added that being in international waters, the ship is in legal standing and that it is common practice for U.S. intelligence vessels to peruse international waters near China as well.
One official did note the activity was unusual. The official said it was reasonable to assume that China was there specifically to observe the test, as the U.S. has observed similar Chinese vessels off the coast of Guam during a joint US-Australian military exercise.
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