Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense reported that three Chinese ships, including the Shandong aircraft carrier, crossed the Taiwan Strait on Saturday.
“A flotilla of the People’s Liberation Army consisting of three ships, led by the aircraft carrier Shandong, crossed the Taiwan Strait around noon,” the ministry said in a statement quoted by AFP, according to Agerpres.
The ships headed “west of the median line in a northerly direction,” the quoted source added, referring to this invisible border unilaterally drawn by the United States during the Cold War, which Beijing refuses to recognize.
While the presence of Chinese warships in the Taiwan Strait is constantly monitored and the subject of almost daily announcements from Taipei, that of the Shandong aircraft carrier is unusual, AFP notes.
Taiwan’s armed forces “monitored the situation and assigned (civil air patrol) aircraft, naval vessels and land-based missile systems to respond to these activities,” the Taipei ministry said.
Beijing regards Taiwan as a province that it has yet to reunite with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.
Relations between the two sides, at their lowest level since Xi Jinping came to power more than 10 years ago, have further deteriorated in recent years and China has stepped up its military incursions around the island .
Publisher : BP