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It is an unusual presence in the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said three Chinese ships, including the aircraft carrier Shandong, sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Saturday.
“A three-ship PLA (People’s Liberation Army) flotilla, led by the aircraft carrier Shandong, passed through the Taiwan Strait around noon today,” the island’s ministry said in a statement. The ships headed “west of the median line towards the north”, he added, referring to this invisible border drawn unilaterally by the United States during the Cold War, which Beijing refuses to recognize. .
Situation under surveillance
While the presence of Chinese warships in the Taiwan Strait is constantly monitored and announced almost daily by Taipei, that of the aircraft carrier Shandong is unusual. Taiwan’s armed forces “monitored the situation and tasked (civilian air patrol) aircraft, navy ships and land-based missile systems to respond to these activities,” the island’s ministry said.
China regards Taiwan as a province that it has not yet managed to reunify with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Relations between Beijing and Taipei, at their lowest since the arrival in power of Xi Jinping more than ten years ago, have further deteriorated in recent years and China has stepped up military incursions around the island.