After Over a Decade Carrier Groups Are Again Traversing the Taiwan Strait — Only Now They’re Chinese
The Taiwain Strait is now a Chinese river
Editor’s note: A US Navy carrier group hasn’t sailed through the Strait since 2008, Chinese ones now do so all the time; the older Liaoning did so in June (not sure if with escorts or not), and the Type 002 did so just now with its entire escort fleet.
China has sailed an aircraft carrier fleet through the Taiwan Strait — just days after a U.S. warship crossed the waterway — in an apparent message to the self-ruled island and its allies ahead of the Asian nation’s 2020 presidential election.
The fleet was spotted Sunday sailing southbound through the strait, Taiwan’s defense ministry said.
The vessels stayed on China’s side of the waterway, escorting its first entirely home-built aircraft carrier, as U.S. and Japanese ships trailed behind.
The ministry said Taiwan scrambled ships and jets to monitor the still-unnamed carrier and its accompanying fleet, asking its citizens not to worry. Officials didn’t give further details.
China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy currently deploys three aircraft carriers, although only one of these, the Liaoning, is fully operational. The warship is deployed under the Navy’s northern fleet, and is seldom deployed as far south as Taiwan.
Following refurbishment in late 2018, the carrier’s status as a training ship was revoked and it was designated a fully operational warship.
China is expected to deploy seven aircraft carriers by the mid 2020s, which alongside state of the art destroyers currently entering service in fast growing numbers will provide the foundation for a formidable power projection capability.
The Navy deployed Type 055 Class destroyers under the northern fleet for the first time in May 2019, the most heavily armed in the world, although it is uncertain wheather any of these ships participated in the strike group’s pass through the Taiwan Strait.
Source: Military Watch