PLA warplanes were seen flying over waters southwest of Taiwan and then entering the skies over the Bashi Channel
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) held military drills featuring warplanes near Taiwan on Friday as part of “military struggle preparations against the island,” Chinese state media reported on Friday.
Global Times, a Communist Party propaganda newspaper, said multiple PLA warplanes – including H-6 bombers, KJ-500 early warning aircraft, and J-11 fighter jets – conducted a far-sea, long-range drill above southwestern waters near the island of Taiwan.
The PLA warplanes were seen flying over waters southwest of Taiwan and then entering the skies over the Bashi Channel – located between Taiwan and the Philippines – before returning to base via the same route, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) confirmed on Friday. Taiwan’s armed forces are closely monitoring the country’s surrounding waters and airspace, Taiwanese military spokesman Shih Shun-wen said.
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Friday’s drill marks the sixth time this year that PLA aircraft have been recorded operating near Taiwan’s airspace, according to Taiwan’s MND.
On April 2, China’s PLA reported that the Chinese military command responsible for patrols around Taiwan staged a long-endurance, early-warning exercise in March. The drill was intended to simulate quickly countering enemy planes during wartime, a PLA officer said at the time.