"They're doing surveillance and reconnaissance of Taiwan and Vietnam," said one official.
Defense officials said there has been no halt in Chinese military reconnaissance flights targeted at collecting electronic communications from Taiwan, Vietnam and areas of the South China Sea.
The Chinese surveillance flights are being carried out by Y-8 maritime patrol jets equipped to collect electronic signals, defense officials said.
China's government has demanded all U.S. surveillance flights near China be halted, in addition to seeking a formal U.S. apology for the incident near Hainan Island. The Chinese F-8 crashed, and its pilot is missing and presumed dead.
Meanwhile, Bush administration spokesmen declined to comment on a report in Monday's editions of the Washington Times that China is preparing to carry out a nuclear test in the midst of the standoff over the downed U.S. surveillance plane.
Sen. Robert G. Torricelli, New Jersey Democrat, said nuclear test preparations at Lop Nur in remote western China show the need for continued aerial surveillance flights.
"Any underground nuclear testing by the Chinese would serve to confirm the rationale for continued American flights or other activities and should convince the skeptics of the need for our presence in the region," Torricelli said in an interview.
"Their rapid military buildup, testing of long-range missiles, deployment of offensive missiles opposite Taiwan, and now possible renewed underground testing are arguments for continuing the surveillance," Torricelli said.
He added that the continued detention of the American crew is a clear sign they are becoming hostages. "Soon it will be questionable whether it is appropriate to have an ambassador and hostages in the same country."
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