China holds naval drill near Taiwan

A Chinese aircraft carrier group, led by the Liaoning, has conducted a naval exercise in waters near Taiwan.

Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy spokesperson Gao Xiucheng announced on Monday that the drill was part of annually scheduled regular training.

Gao also said the exercise was aimed at examining the aircraft carrier group's achievements and enhancing its capability to safeguard national sovereignty, safety and interests.

The spokesperson said similar drills would be conducted on a regular basis in the future.

Japan's Defense Ministry has been on alert since it confirmed that the Liaoning, accompanied by five other vessels, sailed between two Japanese islands into the Pacific Ocean over the weekend.

The latest exercise is seen as an attempt by China to show off its naval strength at a time when the administration of US President Joe Biden appears to be increasing its involvement in Taiwan.

Last month, a White House spokesperson told reporters that the US would "continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability."

The foreign and defense chiefs of Japan and the United States recently reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.