China says its carrier group exercising near Taiwan, drills will become regular

China confirms that its aircraft carrier formation conducts training near Taiwan

China confirms that its aircraft carrier formation conducts training near Taiwan

The carrier group was spotted around 8 a.m. Saturday roughly 470 km southwest of Nagasaki Prefecture's Danjo Islands, the joint staff said.

To counter this combined Chinese movement, the Japanese government sent a destroyer JS Suzutski and a P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA), along with a P-3C anti-submarine warfare aircraft "to monitor and gather information on the Chinese vessels".

Chinese claimed Taiwan has come under increasing military pressure from Beijing in recent months, with China's air force making nearly daily forays in Taiwan's air defence identification zone.

"We are willing to defend ourselves without any questions and we will fight the war if we need to fight the war".

Taiwan has not said where the Chinese carrier group is now, or if it will go next to the disputed South China Sea, where a US carrier group is now operating. President Joe Biden's administration has moved to reassure democratic Taiwan that its commitment to them is "rock solid".

China's navy said on Monday, a Chinese carrier group was conducting exercises near Taiwan and such drills would become regular, marking a further escalation of tensions.

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It's also important to note that Japan's Defense Ministry announced late Sunday that the Liaoning carrier and five other warships were spotted Saturday sailing south through worldwide waters in the narrow passageway that separates Okinawa's main island and Miyako Island.

The carrier group consists of the lead ship Liaoning, with a Type 055 class stealth guided-missile destroyer Nanchang, two Type 052D destroyers Chengdu and Taiyuan, the Type 054A frigate Huanggang and the Type 901 comprehensive supply ship Hulunhu.

Taiwan is China's most sensitive territorial issue and a potential military flashpoint.

Wu said Taiwan was determined to improve its military capabilities and spend more on defence. "We will try every way we can to improve our defense capability".

Taiwan has complained of an increase in Chinese military activity near the island in recent months, as China steps up efforts to assert its sovereignty over the democratically run island, which receives weapons and other support from the United States. A second phase of exercises, including live-fire drills and anti-landing drills, will take place in July, when hospitals would also practice handling mass casualties.

Asked if Washington's de facto embassy, the American Institute in Taiwan, would send representatives to the drills, Liu said such a plan was "discussed" but "will not be implemented", citing military sensitivity.

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