The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s Liaoning aircraft carrier returned to Qingdao naval port in Shandong Province, from the South China Sea (SCS) following the completion of month-long exercises.
The Liaoning aircraft carrier task group returned on April 30 after wrapping up the comprehensive back-to-back attack-defense mock battles, Xinhua reported Friday.
Japanese Ministry of Defense said on April 12 that a Chinese flotilla consisting of the Liaoning aircraft carrier, two Type 052D guided missile destroyers, two Type 054A guided missile frigates and one Type 901 auxiliary supply ship, were spotted crossing the Miyako Strait two days earlier.
“The exercises came at a time when the US has been sending warships and aircraft into the SSC with increasing frequency, even as the US Navy has been struggling to deal with multiple COVID-19 outbreaks,” Global Times reported Friday.
On April 28, the Chinese Navy claimed that its forces expelled a US guided missile destroyer USS Barry when it “illegally trespassed” into China's territorial waters off Xisha Islands in the SCS. The claim was rejected by the US.