Taiwan responds after China sends carrier to Taiwan Strait
January 12, 2017
HONG KONG – Taiwan scrambled F-16 fighter jets and dispatched a frigate to the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday after China sent its sole aircraft carrier into the waterway, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported.
The transit of the aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, came amid rising tension between Taiwan and China after President-elect Donald Trump broke decades of protocol by speaking on the phone with Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, after his election victory. Tsai leads a political party that has traditionally supported Taiwan’s formal independence from China.
Tsai, who is visiting Central America this week, made two calls to officials in Taiwan seeking updates on the Liaoning’s transit, the Central News Agency reported, citing Alex Huang, the president’s spokesman. China’s decision to send the carrier through the waterway that separates it from Taiwan reflects an early foreign policy challenge for Trump.