The task group of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s aircraft carrier Liaoning is conducting training in the disputed South China Sea.
The task group recently sailed through the Miyako Strait and Bashi Channel and headed toward the relevant waters of the South China Sea for training, according to a statement from the PLA Navy Spokesperson Senior Colonel Gao Xiucheng.
The Miyako Strait, also known as the Kerama Gap, is a waterway which lies between Japan’s Miyako Island and Okinawa Island. It is the widest strait in the Ryukyu Islands and consists of an approx. 250km wide passageway with international waters and airspace. The Bashi Channel is a waterway between Y’Ami Island of the Philippines and Orchid Island of Taiwan.
This is a routine arrangement within the PLA Navy’s annual training plan, and also conforms to international law and related conventions, the spokesperson said.
“In the future, the Chinese PLA Navy will continue to conduct such training activities as planned, in a bid to accelerate the upgrading of aircraft carrier task group’s combat capability”, the statement added.