The Chinese government has released video footage and pictures, seen at the top of this story and below, showing Japan’s aircraft carrier Izumo sailing remarkably close to the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s own flattop Liaoning and its escorts during recent exercises in the Pacific. This comes after Japanese officials announced plans to set up a military hotline with their counterparts in China to help de-escalate potential alterations in the future.
WATCH: Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning conducts training in Western Pacific. pic.twitter.com/Lp3aK9ECMH
— Ryan Chan 陳家翹 (@ryankakiuchan) December 30, 2021
The office of the Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) first announced that it had observed Liaoning, along with a Type 052D destroyer, a Type 054A frigate, and a Type 901 replenishment ship, transiting from the East China Sea into the western Pacific Ocean southeast of Okinawa on Dec. 15. The Chinese flotilla then moved farther southeast and conducted a series of drills, including the launch and recovery of J-15 fighter jets from the Liaoning, as well as flights by Z-9 and Z-18 helicopters. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels subsequently returned to the East China Sea on Dec. 25.
Aircraft carriers in Western Pacific. pic.twitter.com/YVNqWvFhX1
— Duan Dang (@duandang) December 23, 2021
Japanese authorities had previously said that Izumo, together with the destroyer Akizuki, had monitored the Chinese activities. JSDF P-1 and P-3 maritime patrol planes had also helped keep an eye on the PLAN exercises, and Japanese fighter jets were scrambled at times in response to Chinese J-15s flying from Liaoning. Footage showing a Japanese F-15J Eagle fighter jet intercepting a Chinese J-15, shot from the latter aircraft’s cockpit during these recent drills, has been released, as well.
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