A Taiwanese Coast Guard vessel patrols around a coastal area in Hsinchu, Taiwan, 09 April 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/RITCHIE B. TONGO

Taiwan reports passage of Chinese aircraft carrier through northern waters

Beijing, Nov 9 (EFE).- Taiwan on Thursday detected the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong in waters north of the island after the vessel crossed the strait separating the country from China.

“PLAN (Chinese navy) Shandong Carrier Strike Group has sailed north along the median line of the Taiwan Strait since yesterday afternoon,” Taiwan’s defense miinistry said on social media platform X.

The ministry said that the vessel entered the waters north of Taiwan at 8 am on Thursday and was continuing to sail north.

“We have deployed appropriate forces to respond,” it added.

Taiwan Strait’s median line is an unofficial boundary that both Taipei and Beijing had largely respected until last year, when Chinese planes began repeatedly crossing it.

In another post, the minstry said that 13 Chinese aircraft and 5 vessels had been detected around Taiwan until arly Thursday.

The island’s armed forces “have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond these activities,” it added.

On Oct. 26, the island’s forces reported that they had detected Shandong passing through the Bashi Channel, south of Taiwan, and entering the western Pacific.

Shandong participated in Chinese military exercises around Taiwan in April, crossed the Taiwan Strait in June, and carried out exercises in the Western Pacific in September.

In October, Taipei reported a record numbers of air and sea incursions by the Chinese military, describing them as “military harassment.”

The Chinese nationalist army retreated to Tawian after being defeated by Communist troops in the civil war.

Although it has been governed autonomously since 1949, China claims sovereignty over the island, which it considers a rebel province and has not ruled out “reunification” by use of force. EFE