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Taipei: Chinese aircraft carrier transiting Taiwan Strait

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    Associated Press

Taipei | Wed, January 11, 2017 | 10:10 am
Taipei: Chinese aircraft carrier transiting Taiwan Strait Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises for a test in the sea, May 2012. (AP/Xinhua/Li Tang, File)

Taiwan's defense ministry says rival China's sole aircraft carrier is transiting the Taiwan Strait dividing the two sides.

A ministry statement said the Liaoning was traveling in a northwestern direction along the central line dividing the strait, along with its battle group.

It said the military was closely monitoring the vessels' passage and urged the public not to be alarmed. The Liaoning earlier this month carried out combat drills in the South China Sea which Beijing claims almost in its entirety and has fortified with man-made islands.

China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949 and Beijing continues to claim the island as its own territory to be reunified through force if necessary.

Relations between the sides have deteriorated badly since Taiwan elected independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen last year.

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