Chinese Liaoning Aircraft Carrier Strike Group Sails Close to US Naval Base in Japan

Chinese aircraft carrier CNS Liaoning this week was tracked close to Japan's Okinawa with its complete eight-ship carrier group, which included five destroyers, a frigate, and a replenishment ship. Chinese Navy claimed that aircraft carrier formation recently conducted a far sea combat training in the western Pacific Ocean, in line with relevant international laws and practice but Japan believes that Beijing's move was provocative.

The battle group was dispatched into the Pacific Ocean via transit of the Miyako Strait. The Chinese carrier sailed through waters between two islands in Japan's southwestern Okinawa Prefecture, where a US Air Force base is located, to reach the Pacific. The carrier is operating in the area first time after December 2021.

Chinese aircraft carrier CNS Liaoning
Chinese aircraft carrier CNS Liaoning Twitter

Japan Identified The Ship By Class, Pennant Number

The Joint Staff Office (JSO) of the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) issued a release Monday on the group's passage along with photographs of the ships in the group, identifying them by class and pennant number, according to USNI.

The carrier was sighted sailing south nearly 350km west on the uninhabited Danjo Islands in the East China Sea around midnight Sunday, according to Japan's Joint Staff Office.

Japan's Self Defense Forces conducted a monitoring of the area to figure out Chinese aircraft's activities in the area.

Japan's destroyer helicopter carrier JS Izumo (DDH-183) together with JMSDF P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft of Fleet Air Wing 4 were dispatched to monitor Chinese activities.

It was also revealed that Liaoning conducted helicopter operations in the East China Sea. But Beijing has maintained that the Chinese aircraft was on a routine mission.

China Continues To Make Provocative Moves

Gao Xiucheng, China's naval spokesperson, stressed that the Liaoning group is conducting training in the western Pacific Ocean.

Liaoning last year in December was also part of air operations near the Kita Daito and Oki Daito islands, where Japan now aims to establish mobile and permanent radar stations.

China and Japan have maritime disputes involving many islands including Sinkaku/Diaoyu islands. Tokyo has previously also accused Chinese submarines of entering Japanese waters.

The West has been accusing Beijing of provocative military actions near disputed territories but China has denied the accusations.

People's Liberation Army Navy revealed on Tuesday that the navy carried out the drill in the open sea as part of a regular series of exercises based on an annual work schedule.

China has claimed that Liaoning was improving the strike group's ability to fulfill its missions and it's

The Chinese navy said the training was aimed at improving the group's ability to fulfill its missions and claimed it complied with relevant international law and practice, and had no party as a target, according to NHK World.