A group of Chinese warships, led by the Liaoning aircraft carrier, has passed through waters south of Taiwan on its way to drills in the Pacific.
A group of Chinese warships, led by the Liaoning, the country’s sole aircraft carrier, is holding a course for the southern island province of China, Hainan, the Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday, citing sources in the Defense Ministry of Taiwan.
The Liaoning aircraft carrier is adhering to the south-western course to Hainan province. The group has passed some 90 nautical miles south of Taiwan’s southernmost point on its way. There are no evidences that the Liaoning is holding a course for the South China Sea for the area of the Spratly islands, located near the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, a representative of the Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said.
“It is still heading southwest towards Hainan,” the senior Taiwanese military official told Reuters, on condition of anonymity.
According to a statement of the Chinese Navy, the Liaoning and its accompanying fleet will carry out drills in the Western Pacific “in accordance with annual exercise plans.”
On December 25, the Japanese Defense Ministry reported that a Chinese aircraft carrier group, consisting of the aircraft carrier, three guided missile destroyers and two guided weapon frigates, successfully passed through the Bohai Strait and headed towards the Pacific.
On Monday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Tokyo will closely monitor the drill. The drill is largely seen as an indication of China’s growing military potential.