China aircraft carrier group east of Taiwan on third day of tit for tat military maneuvers

China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning entered the Pacific Ocean via the Miyako Strait north of Taiwan and is heading south towards the South China Sea, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), today, April 12.

The maneuver comes after a range of movements by Chinese and American aircraft and ships since April 10.

On the morning of April 10, six PLA aircraft flew from the coast of China via the Bashi Channel south of Taiwan into the Pacific Ocean in what was described as a long-range training mission. The squadron consisted of a Xian H6 strategic bomber aircraft, a KJ-500 early warning and control aircraft , and F-11 fighters.

Shortly after the Chinese aircraft returned via the same route, a US Air-force RC-135U electronic reconnaissance plane was spotted in the same area of the South China Sea.

On the evening of the same day, April 10, the US 7th Fleet guided-missile destroyer USS Barry began a north to south transit of the Taiwan Strait on a mission described as aimed at maintaining the security of the Indo-Pacific region.

Yesterday, April 11 saw a US Navy EP-3E signals reconnaissance aircraft operating south of Taiwan in the South China Sea, and another EP-3C was spotted in the same area this morning, Sunday April 12.

At 7:00 pm April 10, Japan’s defense authorities reported China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier escorted by three destroyers, a frigate, and a supply ship was located southwest of Nagasaki and heading toward the Miyako Strait.

As the aircraft carrier group passed north of Taiwan yesterday evening, Taiwan’s MND was closely monitoring the movement, with a Cheng-kung-class guided-missile destroyer on standby, with engines running at the Port of Keelung, and a Keelung-class guided-missile destroyer left the Port of Su’ao late last night.

The MND confirmed this morning that the Liaoning was north-east of Taiwan, and believed to be heading south towards the South China Sea. MND spokesperson Shi Shun-wen assured the public that the MND had full control of the sea and airspace around Taiwan, and were paying close attention.

The Chinese maneuvers come at a time when the only two US aircraft carriers operating in the west Pacific are isolated in port due to sailors testing positive for COVID-19. The USS Roosevelt is quarantined in Guam, with more than 500 sailors believed infected, and one in an intensive care unit. The USS Reagan, which has also reported COVID-19-positive cases is undergoing maintenance in the Port of Yokosuka, Japan.

According to the MND, the USS Barry is the only US military ship currently operating in the South China Sea.

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One thought on “China aircraft carrier group east of Taiwan on third day of tit for tat military maneuvers

  • April 12, 2020 at 8:23 pm
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    Liaoning, affectionately known as “Banana Of The Sea” when China builds a few more, it will have a bunch of them. The take-off ramp is so steep, planes have taken off never to be seen again!….others have gotten half way up the ramp, only to slide all the way back down again!…..true!

    Reply

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