Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said a Chinese aircraft carrier sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Friday, March 18, just hours before the Chinese and U.S. presidents were due to talk.

A source with direct knowledge of the matter, who was not authorized to speak to the media and spoke on anonymity, told Reuters that the Chinese carrier Shandong sailed close to the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen island, which is directly opposite the Chinese city of Xiamen.

The source said:

“Around 10:30 a.m. the [Chinese carrier] CV-17 appeared around 30 nautical miles to the southwest of Kinmen, and was photographed by a passenger on a civilian flight.”

The USS Ralph Johnson, an Arleigh Burke-guided missile destroyer, closely followed the Chinese carrier partly on its route. The Shandong sailed north through the strait and did not have aircraft on its deck. Taiwan also sent warships to watch the situation.

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