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Iran Press TV

Chinese fighter jets continue aerial drills around Taiwan

Iran Press TV

Sat May 12, 2018 09:54AM

Chinese fighter jets have reportedly carried out more aerial drills around Taiwan- the latest round of military maneuvers near the self-ruled island.

China's Air Force announced in a statement on its official social media site that People's Liberation Army H-6K bombers and surveillance aircraft flew in opposite directions around Taiwan, demonstrating "a new upgrade in combat capabilities."

The aerial exercise, it said, marked the first time that its Su-35 fighter jets had flown with the bombers through the Bashi Channel, separating Taiwan from the Philippines.

The development came as China presses ahead with its plan to modernize its military forces, developing stealth jet fighters, aircraft carriers and advanced missiles as it strives to attain a world-class military by the middle of the century.

The project -- coupled with Beijing's increasingly assertive position in the disputed South China Sea waterway and around Taiwan -- has raised concerns in Washington and its allies around the region.

Taiwan, which is claimed by China as its territory, denounced the maneuvers as "intimidation".

In the past year, Beijing has stepped up such military maneuvers, designed to send a message to Taiwan that it will foil what it regards as any moves toward Taipei's independence.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen from the island's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party has pledged to maintain the status quo and keep the peace.

Taiwan's military is well-equipped with mostly US-made weapons. However; it has been demanding Washington for the sale of more advanced weapons, including new war planes.

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