A Chinese carrier group is exercising near Taiwan and such drills will become regular, China’s navy said late on Monday in a further escalation of tensions near the island that Beijing claims as its sovereign territory.
The U.S. Navy said on Tuesday that its Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) entered the South China Sea on April 4 to conduct routine operations, its second such visit this year, amid stepped up U.S.-China tensions.
Taiwan has complained of an increase in Chinese military activity near the island in recent months, as China steps up efforts to assert its sovereignty over the democratically run island, which receives weapons and other support from the United States.
China’s navy said the carrier group, lead by the Liaoning, the country’s first aircraft carrier put into active service, was carrying out “routine” drills in the waters near Taiwan.
The aim is to “enhance its capability to safeguard national sovereignty, safety and development interests”, it said.