Carrier group passing by Taiwan ‘won’t affect’ cross-Straits ties
The passage of China’s first carrier battle group through the Taiwan Straits onWednesday will not affect cross-Straits relations, said Liu Zhenmin, vice-foreign minister
The CNS Liaoning carrier and its five escort vessels, returning from drills in the South China Sea, sailed north and entered the Taiwan Straits onWednesday morning.
Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships to closely follow the battle group and monitor the situation, said Taiwan’s “defense ministry” spokesman Chen Chung-chi.
It was the first circumnavigation of Taiwan since the battle group’s blue water exercise began in December, when it sailed around the eastern coast of the island, the island’s “ministry” added.
The island’s overreaction to the move adds more uncertainty and tension to the already tense region, experts said.
“The Taiwan Straits are an international waterway shared by the mainland and Taiwan, so it is normal for CNS Liaoning to pass through in training,” Liu said. “It won’t affect cross-Straits relations.
“The Chinese Navy conducts regular exercises both along the coast and in the western Pacific during this time of year to boost capabilities,” he said. “This training is safe and won’t affect security