Taiwan scrambled military jets deployed to monitor China’s first aircraft carrier, Liaoning as it passed through the 180 km wide strait separating the two nations to reach Hong Kong.
Liaoning accompanied by other ships will be open to public to mark the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China. Hong Kong was a British colony till 1 July 1997, the official Xinhua News Agency quoted People’s Liberation Army Navy spokesperson Liang Yang as saying Sunday.
Lioning entered the Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) Saturday and was sailing just west of the middle of the Taiwan Strait on Sunday afternoon, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Taiwan military jets and ships were deployed to monitor the fleet’s passage, the statement added. The ministry said the carrier group was expected to leave Taiwan’s ADIZ by Sunday evening.
Xinhua said that the Liaoning flotilla consists of guided-missile destroyers and missile frigates, as well as J-15 fighter jets and helicopters.
Hong Kong media has reported that Liaoning will arrive in the city Friday, the 80th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which sparked the Second Sino-Japanese War.