China 'to continue flights over high seas'
Iran Press TV
Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:27AM
The Chinese air force says its combat drills over high seas have become a "routine" practice and will continue.
"The air force's distant sea training has become routine, systematic, and practical," China Central Television quoted air force spokesman Shen Jinke as saying late on Thursday.
Shen, who was addressing reporters at a news briefing on "Army Games 2017" in Wuhan, the capital city of central China's Hubei Province, said that China's high-sea drills have increased in frequency over the past years.
China's long-range flight drills at sea, which started three years ago, were not targeted at any specific country or region, Shen said.
He said the recent flight of various warplanes over the Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait had tested the air force's actual combat capabilities on the high seas.
The air force said on its microblog earlier this month that its planes had recently flown through both the Miyako Strait – which lies between two southern Japanese islands – and the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan and the Philippines.
The spokesperson said such drills accorded with international law. They were legitimate, reasonable and justified, he said.
The drills were not meant to target any countries or regions but were the requirement of China's military and national defense building, Shen said.
The air force aims to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the interests of the country's air safety through carrying out actual combat drills, he said.
China is in a territorial dispute with some of its neighbors in the East and South China Sea.
In the South China Sea, China has rival claims to territory with the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and Vietnam.
China and Japan have been involved in a territorial dispute in the East China Sea over the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyus in China.
The United States, which has military presence in the regions, has backed up China's rival claimants in the territorial disputes.
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