Beijing, Dec. 25 (Jiji Press)—Chinese warships including the aircraft carrier Liaoning Sunday entered the western Pacific through waters between the main island of Okinawa Prefecture and Miyako Island, also in Okinawa, the Japanese Defense Ministry said.
In addition, a patrol helicopter from a frigate accompanying the Liaoning flew as close as 10 kilometers from Japanese airspace over Miyako, leading the Air Self-Defense Force to scramble aircraft. No Chinese aircraft or ship entered Japanese airspace or waters.
Chinese warships and airplanes have passed through the area to carry out military drills. But it is the first time that the entry of a Chinese aircraft carrier into the western Pacific has been confirmed.
China seems to be showing off its expanded military power. Its move may also be a warning against US President-elect Donald Trump, who has questioned whether his country should be bound by a One China policy.
Around 10 am, a Maritime SDF destroyer and P-3C patrol aircraft spotted the Kuznetsov-class Liaoning, three missile destroyers, and two frigates sailing southeast in waters 110 kilometers northeast of Miyako, according to the Defense Ministry.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]