The Ministry of National Defense yesterday assured the public that it was monitoring the passage of the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong through the Taiwan Strait.
The Shandong is China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier and the second in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). It officially entered service on Tuesday last week.
China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was refitted from the hulk of the Soviet-era Varyag.
The ministry said that it was monitoring the passage of the Shandong and its escorts as they made their way north through the Taiwan Strait.
It called on the public to remain calm, saying that it would uphold its duty to protect the nation, and maintain regional peace and stability.
Since January 2017, Chinese aircraft carriers have transited the Taiwan Strait six times, including yesterday’s passage, ministry data showed.
The first was when the Liaoning was in transit from China’s Hainan Island to Shandong Province in July 2017.
In March last year, the carrier sailed through a section of Taiwan’s northeastern air defense identification zone west of the median line of the Taiwan Strait. In June that year, the Liaoning transited the Strait en route to its base in Shandong.
In June last year, the vessel passed through the waterway while returning to base.
In November last year, the Shandong sailed through the Strait, trailed by US and Japanese vessels.
The PLAN aims to have four carrier battlegroups by 2030, the Institute for National Defense and Security Research said in its 2019 Assessment on the Development of the People’s Republic of China Politics and Military.
The expansion and militarization of islands in the South China Sea would offer potential bases for the PLAN if China resumes hostilities with Taiwan and attacks from the south, the report said.
An approach from the South China Sea limits the possibility of the US attacking from behind, it said.
The risk of China conducting a military offensive against Taiwan is growing, it added.
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of