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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Chinese aircraft carrier group no cause for public worry: Presidential Office

ROC Central News Agency

04/12/2020 09:57 PM

Taipei, April 12 (CNA) Presidential Office spokesman Ting Yun-kung (丁允恭) said Sunday the public has no need to worry about their country's safety and security, as a Chinese aircraft carrier battle group sailed east of Taiwan the same day.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Sunday evening the Chinese aircraft carrier the Liaoning, escorted by two destroyers, two frigates and a supply ship, were being monitored as they passed through the Miyako Strait on Saturday and then moved southward, passing east of Taiwan on Sunday, on a long-range training mission.

No irregularities were detected, according to the MND.

Both the MND and Ting said the necessary measures were in place to ensure Taiwan's security during the passage of the battle group.

Ting said peace and stability in the region should be a common responsibility on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, especially at this time when the world is struggling to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Liaoning and its escort ships made the voyage in the Pacific Ocean at a time when all four U.S. aircraft carriers deployed in the Indo-Pacific region are quarantined at different ports, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile, according to military air movement tracker Aircraft Spots, an American EP-3E electronic warfare and reconnaissance aircraft was spotted Saturday and Sunday morning over the Bashi Channel south of Taiwan.

Based on MND and Aircraft Spots' records, it was the ninth time a U.S. military aircraft was seen flying near Taiwan in recent weeks.

The U.S. and Chinese military have been busy maneuvering in areas near Taiwan over the past three days.

On Friday, several Chinese J-11 jet fighters, KJ-500 early warning aircraft and H-6 bombers were seen flying southwest of Taiwan in what was also described as a long-range training mission.

Shortly after that, an American RC-135U electronic reconnaissance aircraft appeared in the same area. Hours later, an American destroyer the USS Barry sailed through the Taiwan Strait, reportedly tailed by a Chinese missile frigate.

(By Yeh Su-ping, Matt Yu and Emerson Lim)

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