TAIPEI — Tension between China and Taiwan heightened after China’s aircraft carrier and its fleet of warships entered the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday.
China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier and warships entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and was sailing along the west side of the median line of the strait after returning from exercises in the South China Sea. In response, Taiwan scrambled fighter jets and navy ships to monitor and control the situation. Taiwan’s defense department estimates the Liaoning will leave Taiwan Strait on Thursday.
“I want to emphasize our government has sufficient capability to protect our national security. It's not necessary to overly panic,” Reuters quoted Chang Hsiao-yueh, minister for Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council as saying. “On the other hand, any threats would not benefit cross-Strait ties.”
In response, China claims the Liaoning’s movements complied with international law.
“The Taiwan Strait is an international waterway shared between the mainland and Taiwan. So, it is normal for the Liaoning to go back and forth through the Taiwan Strait in the course of training, and it won't have any impact on cross-Strait relations,” Reuters quoted China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin’s comment at a briefing on Asia-Pacific security.