Japan sends destroyer after Chinese aircraft carrier group Liaoning spots Okinawa crossing

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The Chinese Aircraft Carrier Group – comprising the Liaoning aircraft carrier, a Renhai-class stealth missile destroyer, two Luyang III-class guided-missile destroyers, a Jiangkai II multirole frigate and a class rapid combat support ship Fuyu – were seen crossing the waterway between Okinawa and Miyako Island and heading for the Pacific on Saturday morning.

Japan sent the JS Suzutsuki destroyer, a P-1 maritime patrol aircraft and a P-3C anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft to “gather information and monitor the movements of Chinese ships,” the Chinese said. Joint Staff in a statement released on Sunday.

This is the first time that Liaoning has crossed this waterway since April of last year. It follows U.S.-led military exercises with allies in the region, including a two-day joint exercise with the Australian Navy in the Eastern Pacific last week, and the incoming U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt CSG in the South China Sea on Sunday morning after an exercise with the Indian army.

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Liaoning crossed the same waterway in June 2019 and December 2016.

Tensions between the People’s Liberation Army and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces in the East China Sea have escalated in recent months after Tokyo has repeatedly expressed concerns over China’s new coastguard law. The law came into effect in February and allows the Chinese quasi-military force to use weapons against foreign ships that Beijing considers to be entering its waters illegally.

In early March, the Japanese Coast Guard said the Chinese Coast Guard had expanded its presence in the disputed waters by entering twice a month and as often as twice a week near the Japanese-controlled Diaoyu Islands, known in Japan as the name of Senkaku Islands.

Analyst Says China Supports Okinawa Independence Movement to Divide US and Japan

The Japanese Defense Ministry’s Joint Staff Office on Sunday released photos of the six Chinese ships of the Liaoning Carrier Strike Group. The statement says they are heading for the Pacific Ocean.

The new United States administration under President Joe Biden has reaffirmed its commitment to oppose any unilateral action that threatens to undermine the Japanese administration of the islands, and that the United States is obligated to defend Japan if its territories are under attack.

China’s Defense Ministry last week urged Japan to stop provocating and refrain from attacking China on the disputed islands after the defense ministries of the two countries held a virtual meeting on Monday. latest. The meeting was for Sea and Air Liaison Communication, a mechanism created in 2007 to improve trust and reduce the risk of military miscalculation between the two countries.

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