Suspicious Norwegian Ship That May Be Spying for US Spotted Near China, Analysts Say

The US military apparently hired a mysterious Norwegian civilian ship for close reconnaissance in China, near the island of Taiwan, and in the South China Sea, analysts warned on Monday.

The Grand Canyon II, a multirole construction support vessel seemingly affiliated to Helix Energy, a US oil and gas services company, and has many connections the US military, has been undertaking undisclosed operations during the past months, the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a Beijing-based think tank, said on Sunday.

In early March, the ship arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, from Guam to carry the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter that was salvaged on March 17 after it crashed into the deep ocean 92 nautical miles east to Okinawa. The aircraft crashed on January 25, 2020 after taking off from the USS Blue Ridge amphibious command ship, the flag ship of the US 7th Fleet.

According to tracking data released by SCSPI, the Grand Canyon II has been operating near the island of Taiwan and in the South China Sea over the past month, which raises questions. Data also shows that since late 2020, the ship had stayed in Taichung and Kaohsiung in the island of Taiwan, and Nagasaki and Yokosuka in Japan.

Observers pointed out that the US Navy has ports in Nagasaki and Yokosuka.

Judging from the tracking data of the ship that shows it stayed near the island of Taiwan for an extended period, and since the ship had worked with the US military, the Grand Canyon II is very likely to…

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