Chinese aircraft carrier transiting Taiwan Strait

The Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) from the southwest at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday and sailed north in the Taiwan Strait, said Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense.

The Liaoning and its escort vessels were apparently on their way back to China from the South China Sea after training exercises.

The Chinese warships were sailing to the west of the median line of the 180-kilometer wide channel, according to the MND.

In a press release, the MND said Taiwan's armed forces were closely monitoring the movements of the Chinese warships and asked the public to put their minds at rest.

It did not comment on local news reports that said warplanes were deployed to monitor the warships' movements from the air.

The Liaoning and five escorting warships sailed south in the Pacific off Taiwan's eastern coast on Christmas Day before entering the South China Sea.

In November and December of 2013, the aircraft carrier transited the Taiwan Strait for the first time after its commission in September 2012.

The latest passage occurred at a time when Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (???) was in Nicaragua, the second stop of her four-nation tour in Central America.

China and Taiwan are technically still at war with each other and Beijing sees self-governing Taiwan as part of its territory, to be reunited by military force if necessary.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel