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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

China says carrier passed through Taiwan Strait for “routine training”

  • November 18, 2019
  • , Kyodo News , 2:59 p.m.
  • English Press
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BEIJING — China said Monday that a Chinese aircraft carrier’s passage through the Taiwan Strait a day earlier was “to conduct scientific experiments and routine training,” state-run media reported.

 

The carrier’s movement through the strait Sunday was “not directed at any specific target and has nothing to do with the current situation,” navy spokesman Cheng Dewei was quoted as saying, calling it “a normal arrangement in the process of aircraft carrier construction.”

 

The passage prompted Taiwan to dispatch ships and jets to monitor the Chinese fleet with U.S. and Japanese ships following, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

 

Last week, a U.S. warship sailed through the same strait in a demonstration of “the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the U.S. Navy said in a statement.

 

China has repeatedly expressed concerns over U.S. military activities involving the self-ruled democratic island, including U.S. plans to sell billions worth of tanks and weapons to Taiwan.

 

Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since they split amid a civil war in 1949. But Beijing has made it increasingly clear that it is willing to take all necessary measures to reunite what it considers a renegade province with the mainland.

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