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Chinese aircraft carrier conducts drills in the Western Pacific?

Jul 10, 2024

Taipei City [Taiwan], July 10: Taiwan's Defense Ministry said on July 10 that it had detected China's Shandong aircraft carrier conducting exercises in the Western Pacific, with 36 military aircraft flying to the southern and southeastern areas of the island, according to Reuters.
Taiwan has repeatedly complained over the past four weeks about mainland China's increased military activity in its vicinity.
Speaking to reporters at the legislature shortly after news of the Shandong 's latest activities broke, Taiwan's Defense Ministry chief Qiu Kuo-cheng said the agency had "full grasp" of the carrier's movements.
"It did not go through the Bashi Channel," he said, referring to the waters between Taiwan and the Philippines that Chinese warships pass through to enter the vast Pacific Ocean.
"It goes further south, through the Balintang Strait," Mr. Khau said of the strait between Batanes province and the Babuyan Islands of the Philippines.
China's Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, the Philippine military expressed concern about China's deployment of the aircraft carrier strike group.
"We emphasize the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region and call on all parties to comply with international law and norms," ​​said Philippine military spokeswoman Francel Margareth Padilla.
China currently has two aircraft carriers in service, the Liaoning and the Shandong. The Shandong was commissioned in 2019 and the Liaoning in 2012. In early May, Xinhua reported that the Fujian aircraft carrier was undergoing sea trials and is expected to be the country's third aircraft carrier.
Due to the lack of aircraft launch systems, the Liaoning and Shandong ships both have upturned bows designed to serve as ski-jump launch platforms.
The Fujian will no longer have to carry this design because it is equipped with an electromagnetic catapult to launch aircraft. This is a modern technology similar to the Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carriers - the most modern aircraft carriers of the US today.
However, while all US aircraft carriers operate on nuclear power, the Fujian aircraft carrier still uses conventional fuel engines.
Source: Thanh Nien Newspaper