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China sent an aircraft carrier and five escort ships, including a destroyer likened to the U.S. Navy’s Aegis-class vessels, through the Miyako Strait near Okinawa over the weekend in a signal of its growing ability to counter American and Japanese military power further from its shores.

Japan’s Defense Ministry announced late Sunday that the Liaoning carrier and five other warships were spotted Saturday sailing south through international waters in the narrow passageway that separates Okinawa’s main island and Miyako Island. The vessels did not enter Japanese waters or its contiguous zone.

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