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Chinese Aircraft Carrier to Conduct Exercise in Western Pacific Ocean

China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning is set to conduct routine exercises in the Western Pacific Ocean along with its accompanying fleet amid territorial disputes in the region, Reuters reported Sunday.

Ben Blanchard writes China’s operation of the Liaoning carrier marks the first step in the country’s effort to deploy carriers built inside China by 2020.

Taiwan said through its defense ministry that it is monitoring the drills, according to the report.

Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force ship and P3C patrol airplane detected Liaoning and other Chinese naval vessels traveling between Miyako and Okinawa and into the Pacific, Reuters reports.

Blanchard writes China’s first live-fire exercises with an aircraft carrier and fighters occurred in the northeastern Bohai Sea in early December.

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