China says aircraft carrier group on way to S.China Sea for drills

Date: December 20, 2020
By: Reuters Staff

BEIJING (Reuters) -An aircraft carrier group led by China’s newest carrier, the Shandong, has sailed through the Taiwan Strait on its way to routine drills in the South China Sea, China’s navy said on Monday, after Taiwan mobilised its forces to monitor the trip.

While it is not the first time China’s carriers have passed close to Taiwan, it comes at a time of heightened tension between Taipei and Beijing, which claims the democratically ruled island as its territory.

The Shandong carrier group sailed through the Taiwan Strait a day after a U.S. warship transited the same waterway. China’s military said it tailed the ship.

China’s navy said the Shandong and its accompanying ships had “smoothly” transited the sensitive and narrow Taiwan Strait on Sunday, heading for exercises in the South China Sea, where China has extensive and disputed territorial gains.    [FULL  STORY]

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