Returning from drills in the disputed South China Sea, China’s only aircraft carrier took several warships across the Taiwan strait, in a move that put Taipei on high alert.
Taiwan’s military monitored the Liaoning as it passed through the 100-mile strait, and its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
Beijing considers self-governed Taiwan a breakaway province that can be taken by force at any time. China currently has thousands of missiles pointed at the island. However, Taiwan urged its people to remain calm.
Chang Hsiao-Yueh, head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, said the authorities were closely monitoring China’s actions.
“I want to emphasize that our government has sufficient capability to protect our national security,” Chang said. “It is not necessary to overly panic. On the other hand, any threats would not benefit cross-strait ties at all. Together we should show mutual good will.”
China has spoken of “increased levels of uncertainty” regarding cross strait affairs. Relations between the two have not alleviated since Tsai ing-Wen of the independence-leaning DDP party won the presidential election in Taiwan. Tensions further escalated when she met with American officials during a weekend visit to Central America in spite of condemnation from China.