Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships on Wednesday as a group of Chinese warships, led by its sole aircraft carrier, sailed through the Taiwan Strait, the latest sign of heightened tension between Beijing and the self-ruled island.
China's Soviet-built Liaoning aircraft carrier, returning from exercises in the South China Sea, was not encroaching in Taiwan's territorial waters but entered its air defense identification zone in the southwest, Taiwan's defense ministry said.
As a result, Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships to "surveil and control" the passage of the Chinese ships north through the body of water separating Taiwan and China, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said.
Taiwan military aircraft and ships have been deployed to follow the carrier group, which is sailing up the west side of the median line of the strait, he said.
Taiwan's top policymaker for China affairs urged Beijing to resume dialogue, after official communication channels were suspended by Beijing from June.
"I want to emphasize our government has sufficient capability to protect our national security. It's not necessary to overly panic," said Chang Hsiao-yueh, minister for Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, during a news briefing in response to reporters' questions on the Liaoning.
"On the other hand, any threats would not benefit cross-Strait ties," she said.
China's secret 'humpback' stealth nuclear sub surfaces with missiles that could reach ANYWHERE in the US
New photos of China's latest secret stealth submarine have emerged - and it is believed could soon carry missiles powerful enough to reach America.
The 'Jin' Type 094A has a large 'hump' concealing 12 submarine-launched ballistic missiles known as 'big waves', with a range of over 11,000km.
It is believed the secret sub has been given a major overhaul since it was last spotted.
According to Popular Science, the sub, seen in the image at Hainan Island, in the underground submarine base at Yulin, is a new version of China's Type 084A sub, four of which have been seen before.
The new variant has a curved tower and front, making it more aerodynamic underwater.
According to PopSci, 'The Type 094A's conning tower has also removed its windows. Additionally, the Type 094A has a retractable towed array sonar (TAS) mounted on the top of its upper tailfin, which would make it easier for the craft to 'listen' for threats and avoid them.'
Crucially, it boasts a bigger missile payload bay, and is believed to carry new 'big wave' missiles.
Officially known as the JL-2A, it has a 11,200-kilometer range.
This means it could reach almost the entire US from its home base.
Longer ranged versions, like the JL-2C variant, can carry multiple nuclear warheads with global reach.
According to a recent Congressional report, Chinese subs are already patrolling with nuclear-armed JL-2 missiles able to strike targets more than 4,500 nautical miles.
The Chinese are currently working on a new, modernized SSBN platform as well as a long-range missile, the JL-3, the commission claimed.
Little is disclosed regarding the stealth and performance given the view of the photo, but the article points out numerous other 'noticeable improvements.'
This includes a vertical launch system battery, which has been installed behind the conning tower.
A vertical system will make for faster launches, and the cells are larger and thus better suited for the launch of underwater robots or UAVS.
But, the submarine will still have cruise missiles, which are shot from a torpedo tube.