China’s unique aircraft carrier, Liaoning, arrived at a naval base in southern China’s Hainan province, a senior Taiwanese military official said Wednesday after exercises that won him around the world.
China gave little details on what the Soviet-built Liaoning is up to, except that it is on a routine exercise. Taiwan stated that the aircraft carrier bypassed the waters outside its air defense zone to the east and south and then proceeded up the South China Sea to Hainan, Chinese naval base.
“The Liaoning aircraft carrier has reached Hainan military base and we will continue to monitor its progress,” a senior Taiwanese military official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
China has tested aircraft carrier systems and coordination with other military equipment, the officer said, and his arrival in Hainan did not mean his mission was over.
“Once you go out, do not you need to go home?” The officer said.
The exercise, which included accompanying warships, occurs as a result of renewed tension with Taiwan, which China claims to be its own and declares that it is ineligible for Relations between States.
The Chinese Air Force has conducted long-term exercises this month over the East and South China Sea that have shaken Japan and Taiwan. China said these exercises were also routine.
China is demanding most of the South China Sea, which accounts for about $ 5 trillion worth of merchant ships every year. The neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.
The Liaoning has participated in previous exercises, including in the South China Sea, but China is far from having perfected carrier operations similar to those that the United States have been practicing for decades.
Last December, the Ministry of Defense confirmed that China is building a second aircraft carrier, but its launch date is unclear. The aircraft carrier program is a state secret.