Plane with Pelosi possibly aboard turns toward Taiwan: FlightRadar
Earlier, two PLA aircraft carriers advanced out of homeports ahead of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's alleged visit to Taiwan.
A plane that might be carrying US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned towards Taiwan on Tuesday, the FlightRadar tracking website showed.
The plane is currently flying over the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, according to FlightRadar.
Earlier, two aircraft carriers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy reportedly left their respective homeports ahead of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's planned visit to Taiwan on Tuesday evening, according to media reports.
The aircraft carrier Liaoning went out on a journey from its homeport in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, on Sunday, and the aircraft carrier Shandong set out from its homeport in Sanya, South China's Hainan Province, on Monday, according to Taiwanese media on Tuesday.
Foreign commercial satellite imageries obtained by the Global Times on Tuesday also show that the aircraft carrier Liaoning was not in its homeport on Sunday, a Type 075 amphibious assault ship was sailing in the South China Sea on Sunday, and the aircraft carrier Shandong was sailing in the South China Sea on Monday, according to foreign commercial satellite imagery obtained by the Global Times on Tuesday.
Read next: China sorties warplanes in Taiwan Strait amid tensions
According to a report on Monday by state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), the Liaoning was at sea while sailors aboard celebrated Army Day.
In a separate CCTV report on Monday, Xu Ying, executive officer of the Shandong, stated that the Shandong was conducting a regular training trip at the time. According to Xu, the PLA will conduct more twin aircraft carrier training in the future.
The activities of the two aircraft carriers occurred at a time when international media speculated that Pelosi could land on the island of Taiwan on Tuesday evening.
The PLA could dispatch aircraft and warships to escort, intercept, and drive away Pelosi's airplane if it tries to land on the island of Taiwan, according to experts and observers.
Read next: China warns US will 'pay the price' if Pelosi visits Taiwan
The US Navy's Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier strike group has cruised near the southeast coast of Taiwan in the Philippines Sea, according to the US Naval Institute's news website, USNI News, with observers speculating that it could offer an escort to Pelosi's flight.
According to local Taiwanese media, the Liaoning may head south and the Shandong could head north, encircling Taiwan from both sides to prevent Pelosi.
It is unclear whether the PLA Navy aircraft ships' movements are tied to Pelosi, but much as the US Navy deploys its aircraft carriers to demonstrate deterrence, the PLA Navy's aircraft carriers can do the same, according to a Chinese mainland military specialist who requested anonymity on Tuesday.
The PLA's aircraft carriers are designed to protect sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national interests, and they will steadfastly carry out their tasks when duty calls, according to the expert.
Read next: US military assets deployed ahead Pelosi's potential visit to Taiwan