Hong Kong, Jan 11: Chi on Wednesday sent its only aircraft carrier into the Taiwan Strait, prompting Taiwanese authorities to scramble jets, media reports said. Taiwan scrambled F-16 fighter jets and a P-3C anti-submarine plane in response, and its vy dispatched a frigate to monitor the Liaoning’s movement, according to Taiwan’s official Central News Agency, the New York Times said.
This development may ratchet up the tensions between Chi and Taiwan — a self-ruled island — which Beijing claims as its own and vows to reunite forcibly if necessary.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said the Taiwan Strait was an intertiol waterway and that it was normal for the Liaoning to pass though it.
The defiant move sigls Chi’s growing val strength and may foreshadow an early foreign policy challenge for US President-elect Dold Trump when he takes office in nine days, the New York Times said.
The transit of the aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which had been conducting exercises in the South Chi Sea, comes amid rising tensions between Taiwan and Chi, and after Trump broke decades of protocol by speaking on the phone with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen after his election victory. Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party has traditiolly supported Taiwan’s formal independence from Chi. In her first public address, Taiwan’s first woman President did not mention “One Chi Policy”, angering Beijing which considers it as part of mainland. (IANS)