The flight path of 10 Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft flying over international waters off Taiwan’s east coast and through the Miyako Strait between Japan’s Miyako and Okinawa islands on Thursday was fully monitored, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday.
Two Chinese Xian H-6 bombers and other airplanes flew over the Miyako Strait, the Japanese Ministry of Defense said, adding that Chinese warships and airplanes have been seen passing through the strait with increased frequency.
From 2012 to last year, PLAAF planes crossed the Miyako Strait between four and six times per year, according to data obtained from the Japanese ministry.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense
They have already crossed the strait three times this year, according to data.
Chinese airplanes have flown over the international waters off Taiwan’s east coast at least seven times since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power in May last year, military observers in Taiwan said, adding that the number of airplanes has increased with each mission.
The flight was in accordance with the PLAAF’s long-distance flight training regimen and the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) monitored the movements of the Chinese planes, the MND said.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense Japan
The MND released pictures of Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF) shadowing the Chinese planes.
The Presidential Office said in a statement that the MND is closely monitoring all Chinese military activity and reports have been forwarded to the National Security Council, which directly advises the president.
All early warning systems and national defense measures are in place and ready, Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) said.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense Japan
The public should rest assured that the MND is ready to defend the nation, it said.
In a similar military exercise last week, China flew six warplanes over the Miyako Strait, which the MND at the time said it had also monitored.
Such exercises are legal and proper and Japan should “get used to it,” the Chinese Ministry of National Defense said at the time.
The flyover by the formation of Xian H-6 bombers was “unusual,” Japan’s defense ministry said in a statement, but added that there had been no violation of the nation’s airspace.
Additional reporting by CNA and Reuters
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