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China's 'most powerful' carrier group enters West Pacific for drills amid Japan's breakaway from defense-only principle

2022-12-18 09:06:28       source:Global Times

December 17, 2022

The aircraft carrier Liaoning of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, featuring a record number of Type 055 10,000 ton-class large destroyers as its escorts, reportedly sailed across the Miyako Strait and entered the West Pacific for routine exercises on Friday, the same day that Japan broke away from its defense-only postwar principle and announced plans to equip itself with first attack-capable missiles, allowing itself to hit China.

As the most powerful Liaoning aircraft carrier group yet, the PLA flotilla is expected to host a number of realistic combat-oriented exercises beyond the first island chain, enhancing its capabilities in safeguarding national sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests, military experts said.

Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force spotted a PLA Navy flotilla consisting of the aircraft carrier Liaoning, the Type 055 large destroyers Anshan and Wuxi, the Type 052D destroyer Chengdu, the Type 054A frigate Zaozhuang and the Type 901 comprehensive replenishment ship Hulunhu sailing from the East China Sea through the Miyako Strait into the West Pacific from Thursday to Friday, Japan's Ministry of Defense Joint Staff said in a press release on Friday.

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