Taiwan’s military has deployed forces to monitor a Chinese naval formation led by the aircraft carrier Shandong as it sails through the sensitive Taiwan Strait, according to Taiwan’s defense ministry. The Shandong previously participated in Chinese military drills around Taiwan in April and recently reentered the Pacific. The ministry stated that the formation, led by the Shandong, entered the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, sailing northward while staying on the Chinese side of the median line, which serves as an unofficial boundary between the two sides. Both Taiwan and the United States dispute China’s claim of sole sovereignty over the Taiwan Strait, which China asserts is not an international waterway. The United States frequently sends warships through the strait, often accompanied by allies such as Canada. Taiwan’s defense ministry reported that the Chinese carrier group is continuing to sail northward, and Taiwan has dispatched appropriate forces to monitor the situation. China’s defense ministry has not yet responded to requests for comment. Japan’s defense ministry announced that the Shandong and other naval ships had conducted landing drills in the Pacific Ocean for nine days before sailing to the South China Sea. The Shandong, commissioned in 2019, previously sailed through the Taiwan Strait in June. Taiwan has repeatedly expressed concerns about Chinese air force planes crossing the median line of the strait. China, which has not ruled out the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, has increased military activities near the island in response to what it perceives as collusion between Taiwan and the United States. Taiwan’s government firmly rejects China’s sovereignty claim.
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