Tensions rise as China sends aircraft carrier into Taiwan Strait

Hong Kong, Jan 11 (IANS) Taiwan on Wednesday scrambled jets after China sent its sole aircraft carrier into the Taiwan Strait, media reports said.

The defiant move signals China’s growing naval strength and may foreshadow an early foreign policy challenge for President-elect Donald Trump when he takes office in nine days, the New York Times said.

The transit of the aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which had been conducting exercises in the South China Sea, comes amid rising tensions between Taiwan and China, and after 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.