Military releases surveillance photo of Liaoning aircraft carrier

An aerial image of the Liaoning/ Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s military on Thursday released for the first time a surveillance photograph it took of the Chinese aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, as it monitored the passage of a Chinese carrier battle group in waters south of the country a day earlier.

The black-and-white photograph released by the Ministry of National Defense (MND), shows an aerial view of the Liaoning, though it did not say where or when the photo was taken, other than that it was taken by the Air Force.

In a press release, the MND said the Chinese aircraft carrier, escorted by two destroyers, two frigates and a supply ship, were monitored as they passed through the Bashi Channel, a waterway to the south of Taiwan, on Wednesday and was heading toward waters east of the island.

The ministry has been closely monitoring the battle group, including the dispatch of eight Navy vessels, but nothing out of the ordinary was observed, according to the ministry.

This is the second time in April the aircraft carrier battle group has operated in waters near Taiwan.

The Liaoning and its five escorting vessels on April 12 passed through the Miyako Strait south of Japan and east of Taiwan, before heading south toward the South China Sea on a long-range training mission.

The Chinese battle group concluded its training mission on Wednesday.

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.