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Taiwan reports Chinese aircraft carrier sailed through strait


TAIPEI (Reuters) -A Chinese aircraft carrier group led by the vessel Shandong sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, Taiwan’s defence ministry said, amid heightened military tension over the island Beijing claims as its own territory.

The ministry said the Shandong, commissioned in 2019, had sailed in a southerly direction through the western part of the strait, and it had dispatched “appropriate forces” to monitor the Chinese activities.

The aircraft carrier participated in Chinese military drills around Taiwan in April, operating in the western Pacific. In March last year, it sailed through the Taiwan Strait, just hours before the leaders of China and the U.S. were due to talk.

China, which has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, has stepped up military activities near the democratically governed island to force it to accept Chinese sovereignty.

Taiwan strongly disputes Beijing’s sovereignty claims and vows to defend itself if attacked.

(Reporting by Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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