Fri, Jul 14, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Chinese warships no longer in ADIZ: defense ministry

Staff writer, with CNA

A group of Chinese warships headed by China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) early on Wednesday left the zone at 2am yesterday after sailing north through the Taiwan Strait, the Ministry of National Defense said.

The four ships left Hong Kong at noon on Tuesday and entered the ADIZ at 2:40am on Wednesday west of the Taiwan Strait’s median line, the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier reports said that the group also included two guided-missile destroyers and one frigate.

The ministry said that it closely monitored every operation and movement of the Liaoning, which on June 25 embarked from its home port of Qingdao for a cross-region training operation.

It arrived in Hong Kong on Friday last week for a five-day port call.

The last time the Liaoning formation entered the ADIZ was at 4pm on July 1, leaving at 9:30pm the next day.

At the time, the ministry rejected reports that the Liaoning conducted training operations such as takeoffs and landings of fighter jets while the formation sailed through the ADIZ.

It was the Chinese aircraft carrier’s second round-trip through the Taiwan Strait in just over six months.

On Jan. 12, the Liaoning sailed in the 180km-wide waterway on its way back to China after conducting training exercises in the South China Sea.

It sailed south off the east coast of Taiwan on Dec. 25 last year to reach waters where the exercises were to take place.

In late 2013, the Liaoning, which was rebuilt from a multi-role aircraft carrier launched in 1988 for the Soviet Navy, sailed in the Taiwan Strait for the first time after its commissioning into the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy in September 2012.

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