Chinese Aircraft Carrier Spotted Near Taiwan, Japan Scrambles Jets
SOUTH CHINA SEA - The Chinese Liaoning aircraft carrier was spotted by satellite images off Taiwan, while Japan stated that they had to scramble fighter jets after a suspected intrusion into its own airspace in the East China Sea.
China carried out live-fire drills with carrier based fighters and helicopters near Taiwan over the weekend according to the Chinese Military's official web page. The Chinese Liaoning aircraft carrier likely traveled through the Miyako strait in order to enter waters east of Taiwan earlier in the week according to The Drive.
The official Chinese military website stated, "naval, air and conventional missile forces of the Chinese PLA [People's Liberation Army] Eastern Theater Command held drills in seas and airspace to the east and southwest of Taiwan Island from May 6 to 8, in a bid to test and improve the joint operations capability of multiple services and arms".
The Japan's Ministry of Defense reported that from May 6th to May 8th fighters from the Japanese air force "scrambled to cope with a suspected intrusion into Japan’s airspace over the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean".
Last Sunday the Japanese Ministry of Defense Joint Staff put out a press release that stated the Chinese Liaoning aircraft carrier as well as four other naval vessels were spotted on May 7th around 150 kilometers (95 miles) south of Ishigaki Island and that on May 6th the number of Chinese ships equaled six.
Japan's MOD Joint Staff stated that they responded by dispatching their Izumo light aircraft carrier in order to monitor the situation.