MOSCOW (Sputnik) — China has conducted take-off and landing drills in the South China Sea involving its sole aircraft carrier, media reported Tuesday, citing navy officials.
The Liaoning aircraft carrier has been deployed in the waters of the South China Sea with missile destroyers and other vessels since Sunday, the Japanese NHK broadcaster reported.
The carrier is supposed to be used for flight drills for the first time, while one of the main aims for developing aircraft carriers is to secure the county’s naval borders in the South China Sea, the broadcaster reported.
A number of disputed islands, including the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands, are located in the South China Sea. Beijing’s territorial claims to the Spratly Islands, known as the Nansha Islands in China, which are believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves, run counter to those of the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.