Taiwan says Chinese aircraft carrier crossed strait

Taiwan says Chinese aircraft carrier crossed strait.
Image: Reuters

The Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong sailed through the Taiwan Strait with two other ships on Saturday, according to Taiwan’s defense ministry, in the latest flare-up of military tensions over the island Beijing claims as its own.

The Shandong, which was commissioned in 2019, sailed northerly through the strait around midday, sticking to its median line, which serves as an unofficial barrier between the two sides, according to the ministry.

Taiwan’s military closely monitored the group using its own ships and aircraft and “responded appropriately,” according to a brief statement from the Ministry of Defense.

The Chinese defense ministry did not respond to requests for comment, and the country’s armed forces did not mention the sailing on their official social media channels.

Last month, the Shandong took part in Chinese military drills around Taiwan, operating in the western Pacific.

The Shandong sailed through the Taiwan Strait in March of last year, just hours before the Chinese and US presidents were scheduled to meet.

After formally ending its war games last month, China has continued military activities on a smaller scale around Taiwan.

Taiwan’s defense ministry also announced on Saturday that eight Chinese fighter jets had crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line in the previous 24 hours, something Chinese warplanes have been doing on a regular basis since earlier war games last August.

China has never renounced the use of force to seize control of Taiwan.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen strongly opposes Beijing’s claims of sovereignty, claiming that only the people of the island can decide their future.

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