Date: Dec 13, 2016
By: Staff writer, with CNA
Two training missions by Chinese military aircraft near Taiwan can be regarded as a strategic declaration by China that it is capable of engaging in military operations not just west of Taiwan, but also on the east side, two military analysts said.
Ten military aircraft from the Eastern Theater Command — one of five war zones designated by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) — embarked on Saturday on a long-distance training mission, during which they flew over the Miyako Strait in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture, the Ministry of National Defense said.
Four of the aircraft then turned south toward the Bashi Channel, where they joined several fighter jets from the Southern Theater Command circling just outside Taiwan’s air defense identification zone to the south, before returning to base, the ministry said.
It was the second time in less than a month that Chinese military aircraft circled near Taiwan, but did not enter the nation’s air defense identification zone, the ministry said. [FULL STORY]