Warplanes from the Chinese Air Force have flown over the Bashi Channel and the Miyako Strait several times in the past week to conduct drill in the west Pacific, an Air Force spokesman said on July 15.
The overflight involved multiple types of warplanes, including H-6K strategic bombers, and met the set target of improving the ability of operating long distance combats above the sea areas, spokesman Shen Jinke said in the announcement published on the official Weibo account of the Air Force.
The spokesman stressed that the drill was carried out as part of the Air Force's yearly training plan. "It complies with international law and practice, doesn't aim at any specific country, region or target, and is legitimate and justified by the international laws," he said.
Shen said the Chinese Air Force is a strategic military force and its strategic power should match with national interests. The Air Force will continue to conduct regular high sea drills and further improve its capabilities in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and peaceful development, he said.
The Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait are two pivotal waterways linking East China Sea to the West Pacific Ocean. Both are defined as international sea areas where ships and aircraft of any countries are entitled to pass freely according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.