China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier battle group has conducted its first exercises with live ammunition, the country’s navy said, in a show of strength as tensions with the US and Taiwan escalate.

China’s military has carried out its first ever live-fire drills using an aircraft carrier led large –scale exercises in the north-eastern Bohai Sea close to Korea, the People’s Liberation Army Navy said late Thursday in a statement on their website.

The drills involved dozens of ships and aircraft in the carrier group and saw more than 10 air-to-air, anti-ship, and air defence missiles being tested, it said.

The drills aimed to test the equipment and troop training levels, an unidentified navy official told the official China News Service.

The group also performed reconnaissance exercises, tests of early-warning systems, aerial interception, and missile defence.

Footage on state broadcaster China Central Television showed fighters launching missiles and hitting targets, and one pilot wore a helmet with “SHOOT IT” written in English across the top.

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