Taiwan has sent ships and aircraft to shadow a Chinese aircraft carrier group through the narrow Taiwan Strait, its Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

The move comes amid rising tensions between the two countries and just after Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has recently solidified his grip on power, warned that Beijing would defend by force if necessary its "One China" principle — under which the self-ruling island is seen as part of China's own territory, awaiting reunification.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said the carrier group, led by China's sole operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, entered the waterway late Tuesday, but kept to its western side.