The Chinese aircraft carrier, Liaoning
The Chinese aircraft carrier, Liaoning

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Passes South of Taiwan

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Passes South of Taiwan

A group of Chinese warships led by the country’s sole aircraft carrier has passed through waters south of Taiwan and is heading southwest, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Monday of what China has termed a routine exercise.
The ministry said the aircraft carrier Liaoning, accompanied by five other vessels, had passed 90 nautical miles south of Taiwan’s southernmost point on Monday morning via the Bashi Channel, between Taiwan and the Philippines.
“Staying vigilant and flexible has always been the normal method of maintaining airspace security,” said the Taiwanese ministry’s spokesman, Chen Chung-chi, declining to say whether Taiwanese fighter jets were scrambled or if submarines had been deployed, Reuters reported.
Chen said the ministry was continuing to “monitor and grasp the situation”.
The exercise comes amid renewed tension over self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, following US president-elect Donald Trump’s telephone call with the island’s president that upset Beijing.
Senior Taiwan opposition lawmaker Johnny Chiang said the Liaoning exercise was China’s signal to the United States that it has broken through the “first island chain”, an area that includes Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan.
In Beijing, influential state-run tabloid the Global Times said the exercise showed how the carrier was improving its combat capabilities and that it should now sail even further afield.
“The Chinese fleet will cruise to the Eastern Pacific sooner or later. When China’s aircraft carrier fleet appears in offshore areas of the US one day, it will trigger intense thinking about maritime rules,” the newspaper said in an editorial.
China has been angered recently by US naval patrols near islands that China claims in the South China Sea. This month, a Chinese navy ship seized a US underwater drone in the South China Sea. China later returned it.
Japan said late on Sunday it had spotted six Chinese naval vessels, including the Liaoning traveling through the passage between Miyako and Okinawa and into the Pacific.
Japan’s top government spokesman said on Monday the voyage showed China’s expanding military capability and Japan was closely monitoring it. China’s air force conducted long-range drills this month above the East and South China Seas that rattled Japan and Taiwan. China said those exercises were also routine.
China’s Soviet-built Liaoning aircraft carrier has taken part in previous exercises, including some in the South China Sea, but China is years away from perfecting carrier operations similar to those the United States has practiced for decades.
Last December, the ministry confirmed China was building a second aircraft carrier but its launch date is unclear. The aircraft carrier program is a state secret.
Beijing could build multiple aircraft carriers over the next 15 years, the Pentagon said in a report last year.

Short URL : https://goo.gl/JDQlIl
  1. https://goo.gl/dgj93B
  • https://goo.gl/KfYP1x
  • https://goo.gl/QWZ4Os
  • https://goo.gl/VhZ8zp
  • https://goo.gl/m2iVvN

You can also read ...

South Korea Halts Border  Broadcasts Ahead of Kim Summit
South Korea on Monday silenced its battery of giant...
In January 2017 Americans from coast to coast took to the streets for several days to protest against the travel ban. (File Photo)
The first big showdown at the US Supreme Court over President...
People march during a protest in Yerevan, Armenia, on April 23.
Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan said he was resigning...
Paris Attacks Suspect Gets  Jail Term
A Belgian judge on Monday sentenced Salah Abdeslam, the prime...
North Korea is a popular, if offbeat, tourist destination  for Chinese, especially from northeastern China.
Thirty-two Chinese tourists and four North Koreans have died...
Center-Right Ahead in Molise Amid Italian Gov’t Impasse
Italy’s center-right alliance is set to win elections in the...
Conservative Wins Paraguay’s Presidential Election
Conservative former senator Mario Abdo Benitez has been...

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints