China-Taiwan: Aircraft carrier ‘seals off’ island on third day of drills

BBC.com reports: “China said it was simulating ‘sealing off’ Taiwan in a third day of drills as it appeared to use an aircraft carrier to launch jets towards the island.

Taiwan said it had detected jets to its east while China said its Shandong aircraft carrier had taken part.

Beijing began the exercises on Saturday after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met the US House Speaker in California.

So far however the drills are not as big as those that followed Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei last August.

Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state. China sees it as a breakaway province that will eventually be brought under Beijing’s control – by force if necessary.

On Monday Taiwan said it had spotted another 70 warplanes and 11 ships in its surrounding waters.

A map of flight paths released by Taiwan’s defence ministry showed four J-15 fighter jets to the island’s east – suggesting that the Chinese military is for the first time simulating strikes from the east rather than the west where China’s mainland lies.

Analysts said it was likely the jets had come from China’s Shandong aircraft carrier – one of two such carriers it possesses – which is currently deployed in the western Pacific ocean, about 320km (200 miles) from Taiwan…”

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