Japan sends fighters as Chinese jets pass Miyako Strait

Owen Stevens
Ноября 27, 2016

Chinese air force jets have again carried out drills in the Western Pacific, flying through the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan and the Philippines and the Miyako Strait near Japan's Okinawa island, the air force said on Saturday.The air force described the exercises as part of normal annual planned drills which accord with global law and practice.

According to a PLAAF spokesperson at the time, that drill included a focus on "reconnaissance and early warning, attacks on sea surface targets, and in-flight refueling to test the Air Force's fighting capacity on the high seas".

Two Su-30 fighter jets that passed the strait from the opposite direction made u-turns to join the four other aircraft before flying to the East China Sea, the ministry added.

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The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) scrambled jets in response to the flyby.

"Conducting long-range naval exercises of military aviation is a common practice... for maritime countries. The performed drills were planned, they were held in accordance with worldwide law and global practice and were not directed against third countries", Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke said in a statement.

According to Japan's public broadcaster NHK, the six Chinese aircraft flew north along the Pacific side of the Sakishima Islands before traveling between Okinawa's main island and Miyako Island and heading toward the East China Sea on Friday. It was the first such passage through the area by Chinese military aircraft.

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