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Japan warns of increasing Chinese naval activity east of Taiwan

Japan defense officials say recent Liaoning spottings intended to test US, Japan response

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China's Liaoning aircraft carrier. (Reuters photo)

China's Liaoning aircraft carrier. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China’s dispatching of its aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in the waters east of Taiwan is not only meant to establish a military presence in the area but also is a test to see how the U.S. and Japan respond to its military activities, Japanese military authorities have said.

Since May 3, the Liaoning has continued to conduct aircraft take-off and landing training south of Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture. Japanese media reported that the training sessions are likely a sign of China deploying permanent forces near Taiwan, showing the Liaoning's ability to attack Taiwan from the east.

Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo and other senior defense officials have reaffirmed their vigilance against the normalization of Chinese naval activity in waters close to Japan and Taiwan, the Liberty Times reported.

Kishi said on May 10 that Japan must continue to pay attention to the situation. Japan's Chief of Staff Yamazaki Koji said at a press conference on May 12 that such activities near Taiwan and southwest Japan have raised security concerns.

A U.S. military official said that China plans to prevent U.S. Navy ships stationed at Yokosuka base from entering the East China Sea, per the Liberty Times.