SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A group of Chinese carriers are exercising near Taiwan and such drills will become commonplace, the Chinese navy said late on Monday that intensifying tensions near an island that Beijing claims. As their own sovereign land
Taiwan has complained of an increase in China’s military activity in recent months as China has ramped up efforts to assert its sovereignty over the democratic island.
The Chinese navy said the carrier group, led by Liaoning, the country’s first aircraft carrier to enter service, was conducting “regular” exercises in waters near Taiwan.
The aim is “Enhance the capacity to protect the sovereignty, security and interests of the national development”;
“The same training will be conducted regularly in the future,” the Navy added, without elaborating.
A Chinese statement follows Taiwan’s defense ministry reporting a new attack by China’s air force into the island’s air defense identification zone on Monday.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said It is “fully understood” of the air and sea conditions around Taiwan and “properly managed” in this regard.
Japan’s defense ministry said on Sunday that Liaoning, along with five escort ships, had passed through the Miyako Strait on its way to the Pacific Ocean.
China’s widely read Global Times, published by the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, states that Nanchang, the first powerful new fleet of Type 055 destroyers that entered service last year, is part. Of service providers
“The combination of the Type 055 aircraft carrier and the large destroyer will become the standard framework for China’s aircraft carrier mission group in the future,” he added.
Liaoning and Shandong’s sister ship have been practicing or sailing near Taiwan before.
In December 2019, shortly before the presidential and parliamentary elections in Taiwan, Shandong sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait, a move that Taiwan has condemned as an attempt to intimidate.
Taiwan is China’s most sensitive territorial issue and a potential military flashpoint. China has never abandoned the use of force to bring the island under its control.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen is overseeing the redevelopment of the island’s military by introducing new equipment such as the stealth corvette. “Tanker Killer”
(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei Editing by Michael Perry and Edwina Gibbs)