BEIJING -- China has hosted a visit to its sole aircraft carrier by senior U.S. Navy officers, amid plans by Washington to challenge Beijing's territorial claims in the South China Sea.
The Chinese navy says on its official microblog that the delegation of 27 commanders and captains boarded the Liaoning on Monday and held discussions on issues including personnel training and strategies in carrier development.
Washington has long complained of what it calls a lack of transparency by China's military.
The visit follows reports that the U.S. Navy plans to sail a warship inside the 12-nautical-mile (21-kilometre) territorial limit of one of China's newly constructed islands formed by piling sand atop existing reefs and atolls. That would demonstrate Washington's refusal to recognize China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.