A Chinese aircraft carrier group sailed through the Miyako Strait and headed toward the Pacific Ocean, on Friday to ‘demonstrated success in novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic control work.’
The Chinese flotilla, consisting of aircraft carrier Liaoning two Type 052D guided missile destroyers, two Type 054A guided missile frigates and one Type 901 auxiliary supply ship, was spotted during transit through the Miyako Strait on Friday evening, according to a statement from the Japanese Defense Ministry on Saturday.
Media in Taiwan reported Saturday that the Liaoning carrier group was spotted in waters east of the island and that Taiwanese radars were tracking its movements.
The Chinese Ministry of Defence has not commented on the ships’ movement. However, ‘naval experts’ told chinamil.com.cn, the official publication of the Chinese military that the voyage demonstrates the PLA Navy’s success in controlling the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
The Chinese message that its navy has got the COVID-19 epidemic under control comes at a time when aircraft carriers of the United States and France have cut shot deployments after coronavirus cases were discovered on board.
The US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt and the French Charles de Gaulle have returned to base abruptly in recent days following several dozen crew testing positive for COVID-19.