Chinese aircraft carrier passes through Taiwan Strait

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In this file photo, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy aircraft carrier Liaoning participates in a naval parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of China's PLA Navy in the sea near Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s military said June 25 it closely monitored the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (遼寧號), as it passed through the Taiwan Strait earlier in the day.

Having completed its mission in the South China Sea, the aircraft carrier, accompanied by a number of other combat ships, sailed north through the Taiwan Strait before returning to its home port of Qingdao in Shandong province, according to the defense ministry.

The Liaoning is China’s first aircraft carrier and is named after one of its northeastern provinces. The 300-meter-long vessel was refurbished and upgraded from an unfinished Soviet carrier and commissioned in 2012.

The Liaoning was observed passing through the Miyako Strait in the East China Sea earlier this month on its way to the Pacific Ocean, where the People’s Liberation Army Navy conducted training operations, according to Japan’s defense ministry.

The last time the Liaoning is confirmed to have taken this route was in December 2016.

By Joseph Yeh