19:21 GMT16 May 2021
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    A spokesman to the Chinese Air Force said that flight of Chinese aircraft near the Japanese airspace was part of the planned drills, which is the internationally accepted practice.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) The flight of Chinese aircraft near the Japanese airspace was part of the planned drills, which is the internationally accepted practice, a spokesman to the Chinese Air Force said on Sunday.

    Early on Saturday, four Chinese Xian H-6 jet bombers flew over the Miyako Strait, south to Okinawa, in the direction of the East China Sea. In parallel, two Chinese Su-30s were registered, initially heading in the opposite direction, but near the Miyako Strait aircraft made a turn and also headed toward the East China Sea. Following the move, Japan's Air Self-Defense Forces (JASDF) scrambled its jet fighters.

    "Conducting long-range naval exercises of military aviation is a common practice… for maritime countries. The performed drills were planned, they were held in accordance with international law and international practice and were not directed against third countries," Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke said in a statement.

    According to the statement, on Friday, China's planes of different types carried out a simultaneous flight across the Bashi and Miyako straits, and the objectives set for the drills have been achieved.

    In late September, JASDF jets flew on to intercept eight Chinese military aircraft flying between Okinawa’s main island and Miyako Island. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said then that it was the first time that Chinese military aircraft flew over the area. hen, the Chinese air force said it was staring drills, in articular, the forces conducted reconnaissance and early warning drills and simulated attacks on sea targets.


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