The largest Chinese aircraft carrier group ever assembled is conducting combat training near a U.S. naval base in Japan, multiple Chinese media sources reported on Tuesday.
China’s aircraft carrier “Liaoning,” as well as seven other vessels, are reportedly undertaking a naval expedition in close proximity to Nagasaki, Japan, and the U.S. Navy base at Sasebo, according to a Tuesday report from China’s Observer News translated by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier is also in the vicinity, according to the report.
The U.S. Naval Institute fleet tracker placed both the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in the waters near Sasebo on Monday.
China’s naval expedition comes a week after its military reportedly shadowed a U.S. Navy destroyer conducting a freedom of navigation exercise in the Taiwan Strait.
China’s military news outlet confirmed its nation’s aircraft carrier group was operating in the western Pacific Ocean in a Tuesday bulletin translated by the DCNF, but stated the “routine training operation” was “not directed against any party.”
The total tonnage for this iteration of the Liaoning’s aircraft carrier group is the largest formation ever assembled in the history of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, according to an opinion piece from China’s Tencent News translated by the DCNF.
The aircraft carrier group’s estimated collective “long-range precision strike capability” also surpasses that of any U.S. aircraft carrier formation, China’s NetEase News claimed.
In addition to the Liaoning aircraft carrier, the Chinese naval formation is composed of four destroyers, a guided-missile frigate and a supply ship, according to Observer News.
While no Chinese submarines were identified as serving within the Liaoning aircraft carrier formation, the opinion piece from Tencent News did “not rule out” that a People’s Liberation Army nuclear submarine is also operating alongside the strike group, citing the standard operating procedures of U.S. aircraft carrier groups which reportedly are always escorted by such vessels.
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A version of this article appeared on the Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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