Taiwan says Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning sailed into its defence zone

The Liaoning, the first aircraft carrier commissioned into China's military, sails out of Hong Kong.
The Liaoning, the first aircraft carrier commissioned into China's military, sails out of Hong Kong.PHOTO: EPA

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - Chinese aircraft carrier the Liaoning, while on its way back from Hong Kong, entered Taiwan's air defence identification zone early on Wednesday (July 12), Taiwan's Defence Ministry said.

It added that the carrier is being monitored and there was no cause for alarm.

The Liaoning left Hong Kong at noon on Tuesday, before entering Taiwan's defence zone by travelling in a northerly direction via the western side of the Taiwan Strait, the ministry said.

Taiwan is monitoring the situation and has detected nothing unusual. People should not be alarmed, it added.

The Soviet-built Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, had been in Hong Kong for events marking the 20th anniversary of the territory's return to Chinese rule from Britain.

It was the fourth time that the Liaoning has sailed near self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own, in recent months for what Beijing has said were routine drills.

Earlier this month (July), Taiwan scrambled jets to shadow the carrier as it made its way to Hong Kong.

Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan, which China considers a wayward province, under its control.