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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Carrier Fleet, Jets “Surround” Taiwan During Naval Drill Show of Force

A Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft carrier fleet was spotted training in the east of Taiwan island while at least 10 PLA warplanes appeared in the west of the island last Monday.

PLA aircraft carrier Liaoning was first spotted in the Miyako Strait accompanied by five other People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels last Monday.

On the same day, four J-16 and four J-10 fighter jets, a Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and a KJ-500 early warning aircraft, entered Taiwan’s self-proclaimed southwest air defense identification zone.

Chinese state-run tabloid the Global Times reported that the Liaoning carrier group’s exercises are not aimed at “any specific country” but at “Taiwan secessionists.”

“The exercise showed that the PLA is capable of surrounding the island of Taiwan, isolating its troops and leaving them nowhere to run and no chance to win if circumstances arise. Attacking from all directions makes the enemy difficult to defend since they have no idea where the main forces could come from,” explained Shi Hong, executive chief editor of the Chinese mainland magazine Shipborne Weapons.

In a more recent encounter, two Chinese military vessels have been detected near Orchid Island since Tuesday as Taiwan started its three-day missile test.

The PLA Navy spokesperson said that more drills will be conducted in the area despite growing tensions with their neighbors and the US.

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