China's military says its first aircraft carrier group has carried out a series of fighter launch, recovery and air combat exercises in the Yellow Sea. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Tang, File)

China carried out a series of air combat exercises from an aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea, according to a report early Saturday.

The move comes as tensions grow between the United States and China after the Asian country seized an unmanned underwater Navy drone in the South China Sea last week.

China’s Defense Ministry had announced late Friday that the Liaoning carrier group conducted fighter launch, recovery and air combat exercises in the Yellow Sea in recent days.

The carrier group will soon “conduct scheduled cross-sea training and tests,” the ministry said, but offered no other details.

The announcement adds to speculation that the ships could be heading to the South China Sea, a hotly contest marginal sea that deals with a majority of the world’s sea shipping.

Tensions between the U.S. and China are also high after President-elect Trump criticized the nation for seizing the drone. He also angered China after taking a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen last month, an unprecedented move from a sitting or elected U.S. president.

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