07:06 GMT02 March 2021
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    Defense Ministry's spokesman said that Chinese fighter jets made a patrol flight over the disputed Spratly Islands, also known as the Nansha Islands.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) Chinese fighter jets made a patrol flight over the disputed Spratly Islands, also known as the Nansha Islands, in the South China Sea, Chinese Defense Ministry's spokesman Shen Jinke said on Saturday.

    "A group of Chinese jets, including a H-6 bomber, a SU-30 fighter and other military aircraft, made a patrol flight in the airspace above the Nansha Islands," Shen said in a statement, adding that the group also included tanker and AEW&C planes.

    According to the Chinese military official, the aim of the mission was to improve air supremacy and defense tactics.

    Beijing’s territorial claims to the Spratly Islands, which are believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves, run counter to those of the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.

    On July 12, a UN-appointed arbitration court in the Hague ruled that there was no basis to Beijing’s claim to extensive territories in the South China Sea, after the Philippines filed a case in January 2013 claiming that Beijing had violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea by its actions in the South China Sea.


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