Chinese Aircraft Carrier Shandong Sails Through Taiwan Strait
A container ship exits Keelong port, in Keelong, Taiwan, on Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. Keelong port is about 35 miles from Taipei. (Photographer: Maurice Tsai/Bloomberg News)  

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Shandong Sails Through Taiwan Strait

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(Bloomberg) -- China’s first domestically made aircraft carrier, the Shandong, sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, weeks ahead of the island’s presidential elections.

The incident was announced by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense on its website. It was the second time Beijing had sent the carrier through the strait and called last month’s maneuver routine training, AFP reported.

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Shandong Sails Through Taiwan Strait

Taiwanese voters are set to go to the polls to elect a new leader and lawmakers on January 11. Incumbent pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen is up against Han Kuo-yu of the more Beijing-friendly Kuomintang.

China has sought to increase its naval presence to project power beyond its coast and protect increasingly far-flung interests including its disputed claims over Taiwan and in the South China Sea. Even though China and Taiwan split amid a civil war in 1949, Beijing has not given up on the option of achieving unification by force.

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