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China says aircraft carrier group exercises near Taiwan will conduct regular exercises



Shanghai (Reuters)-On Monday evening, the Chinese Navy stated that after further escalation of tensions near the island, which China claims is its sovereign territory, a Chinese aircraft carrier group is conducting exercises near Taiwan and such exercises will become routine activities.

Taiwan has complained in recent months that military activities near mainland China have increased because China has stepped up its efforts to safeguard its sovereignty over this democratic island nation.

The Chinese Navy said that the aircraft carrier group led by Liaoning is a country that conducts “conventional”

; exercises in the waters near Taiwan. Liaoning is China’s first aircraft carrier in active service.

Its purpose is to “enhance its ability to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.”

The Navy added: “Similar exercises will be conducted regularly in the future.”

Before China’s statement, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense reported on Monday that the Chinese Air Force had once again invaded the island’s air defense identification zone.

The Ministry of Defense of Taiwan stated that it has “completely grasped” the air and sea situation around Taiwan and is “appropriately handling” the matter.

Japan’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that Liaoning, accompanied by five frigates, was already crossing the Pacific to the Miyako Strait.

The ruling Communist Party’s official “People’s Daily” widely read “Global Times” in China pointed out that Nanchang is a member of the aircraft carrier group, the ship is the first fleet of the powerful Type 055 destroyer that entered service last year.

It added: “The combination of the aircraft carrier and the Type 055 large destroyer will become the standard configuration of the Chinese aircraft carrier task force in the future.”

Liaoning and its sister ship Shandong had previously conducted exercises or sailing near Taiwan.

In December 2019, shortly before Taiwan’s presidential and parliamentary elections, Shandong sailed across the sensitive Taiwan Strait. This move was condemned by Taiwan as an attempted intimidation.

Taiwan is China’s most sensitive territorial issue and a potential military flashpoint. China has never given up the use of force to control the island.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (Tsai Ing-wen) is overseeing the reorganization of Taiwan’s military, launching new equipment such as the “Carrier Killer” stealth frigate.

(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Other reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Michael Perry and Edwina Gibbs)


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