Taipei--Four Chinese Xian H-6 strategic bombers were spotted in two formations flying close to Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday, passing through the Bashi Channel and the Miyako Strait south of Okinawa before returning to Chinese airspace, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said that day.
The bombers, part of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command, were taking part in a long-range drill in the Western Pacific, according to the ministry.
The Miyako Strait, a strategic entryway into the Western Pacific between the Japanese islands of Miyako and Okinawa, offers a small strip of international waters and airspace through Japan's exclusive economic zone, the ministry said, adding that all Chinese military movements are closely monitored by the ministry.
The drill came after the ministry detected Chinese military aircraft, including the H-6 bombers, flying near Taiwan's ADIZ and the Miyako Strait on July 13 and again on July 20.
The Chinese air force confirmed to the media that its warplanes had conducted long-range drills over the Bashi Channel and the Miyako Strait "several times" over the past few weeks, testing actual combat abilities over the sea.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel