TAIPEI - China has sent its sole operational aircraft carrier the Liaoning through the narrow Taiwan Strait that separates China from the self-ruled island, Taiwan's defense minister said on Wednesday, according to local media.
The move comes on the heels of a warning from Chinese President Xi Jinping that Taiwan would face the "punishment of history" for any attempt at separatism. China claims Taiwan as its sacred territory and considers it a wayward province.
Speaking at Taiwan's parliament, Defence Minister Yen Teh-fa said the Liaoning entered the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency.
The ministry is keeping a close watch on its progress, the report cited Yen as saying.