World, Asia - Pacific

China’s first aircraft carrier sails near Taiwan

Liaoning is only aircraft carrier in West Pacific as those of US Pacific Fleet are in port due to COVID-19

Seda Sevencan  | 14.04.2020 - Update : 14.04.2020
China’s first aircraft carrier sails near Taiwan


A naval flotilla led by China’s first aircraft carrier steamed through the Miyako Strait between Japan and Taiwan over the weekend, a report said Monday.    

The website reported that the Liaoning together with five warships left Chinese territorial waters and passed between Japan’s Okinawa and Miyako islands and then turned south and sailed off Taiwan’s eastern coast.

The fleet, which consisted of the aircraft carrier, two guided missile destroyers, two multi-role warships and one supply-class fast combat support ship, was detected by the Japan Self-Defense Forces.

Taiwan also sent warships off its east coast to track the fleet.

The Liaoning is reportedly the only aircraft carrier still sailing in the West Pacific.

U.S. aircraft carriers the USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Ronald Reagan are in port due to coronavirus cases among their crews.

Some 585 of 4,309 personnel on the Theodore Roosevelt, which is anchored off Guam, have tested positive for the coronavirus and 400 more sailors are awaiting testing.

A total of 890 cases have been identified within the United States Navy, including those on the Theodore Roosevelt.

The USS Ronald Reagan also cannot sail due to COVID-19 measures.

The aircraft carrier, which is docked at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan for routine maintenance, will sail after all staff have completed a 14-day quarantine period. Navy officials ordered that their mission only be started after making sure there are no COVID-19 cases among their crew.

Meanwhile, an amphibious assault ship carrying F-35 fighter aircraft is reportedly sailing in the South China Sea.

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