Chinese military aircraft circled near Taiwan on Saturday for the second time in less than a month but did not enter the country's air defense identification zone, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said.
The four aircraft that passed outside the zone in southern Taiwan were part of a fleet of 10 from the Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army Air Force that was on a long-distance training mission, the MND said.
It was the second such mission by China since Nov. 25 when six of its military aircraft -- two H-6K bombers, one TU-154 surveillance aircraft, one Y-8 surveillance plane and two Su-30 fighters - circled outside Taiwan air defense identification zone.
On both occasions, the planes flew around the southern part of Taiwan and over the Bashi Channel, then to the Miyako Strait near Japan's Okinawa Prefecture, before returning to China, according to the ministry.
The exercise on Saturday started at about 9 a.m. and finished at 1:10 p.m., the MND said.
It said Taiwan's armed forces have surveillance systems in place that monitor the country's airspace and waters, and also have contingency plans for the protection and security of the nation.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel