Ministry makes light
of China carrier’s passage
MAKING WAVES: A DPP legislator urged the
president to lodge a protest with Beijing, saying that there was a risk of the
Taiwan Strait becoming a Chinese inland sea
By Chris Wang / Staff reporter
A screen grab from Chinese TV
station CCTV shows the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning passing through the
Taiwan Strait en route to the South China Sea yesterday morning.
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday
confirmed that the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning passed through the Taiwan
Strait yesterday morning — without crossing its median line — en route to the
South China Sea, reiterating that the ministry had monitored the entire passage.
The voyage has drawn attention from Taiwan’s military and the international
community amid rising tension over China’s demarcation of an air defense
identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea on Saturday.
Beijing’s East China Sea ADIZ overlaps with those of Japan, Taiwan and South
Korea in a region marked by territorial disputes over the Diaoyutai Islands,
claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan, and Ieodo, a South Korean-controlled
submerged rock, which China also claims.
The carrier entered Taiwan’s ADIZ at about 10:30am on Wednesday and maintained a
course approximately 14 nautical miles (26km) west of the median line of the
Taiwan Strait before leaving Taiwan’s ADIZ at about 4am yesterday morning,
ministry spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) said.
“Taiwan’s surveillance and reconnaissance system, as well as several naval
vessels and air force fighter jets, monitored the fleet’s entire passage through
the Strait,” Lo said.
China’s Xinhua news agency reported early yesterday morning that the Liaoning,
escorted by two guided missile destroyers, the Shenyang and Shijiazhuang, and
two guided missile frigates, the Yantai and Weifang, had passed through the
Strait on its way to a training mission in the South China Sea.
The voyage through the Strait took about 10 hours, the agency reported, adding
that the Liaoning, China’s first and only aircraft carrier, left its home port
of Qingdao in Shandong Province on Tuesday for a scientific and training
The Liaoning, bought from Ukraine and refurbished in China, was commissioned
last year and has been sent to the South China Sea for the first time.
Responding to the situation, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang
(蔡煌瑯) yesterday urged President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to lodge a protest with
“Otherwise, the Taiwan Strait will become a Chinese inland sea in the future,”
Tsai said, adding that Taiwan should side with its democratic allies over the
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said China’s
decision to send the carrier through the Taiwan Strait instead of cruising along
Taiwan’s east coast hinted at Beijing’s backpedaling from its previously hawkish
position on the ADIZ issue.