Fighter Jets Scrambled To Intercept Chinese Aircraft
Japan has scrambled fighter jets to intercept eight Chinese military planes.
The jets were sent up after China flew a fleet of aircraft, thought to be H-6K bombers, surveillance planes and SU-30 fighter jets, near contested islands in the East China Sea on Sunday.
They crossed between Okinawa and the Miyako islands near Taiwan.
The planes did not enter Japanese airspace but it’s believed to be the first time Chinese military aircraft had been seen in the Miyako Straight.
A spokesperson for the Japanese government said they would keep “close eyes” on China’s military activities adding that they were “expanding and becoming more frequent”.
The Chinese said 40 aircraft were sent to the West Pacific via the straight and it was a “routine drill on the high seas”.
It comes just a week after Japan said it would take part in joint training exercises with the US Navy in the South China Sea.
The Miyako Strait is a strategically important stretch of water south of Okinawa and close to Taiwan.
It’s near a group of islands in the East China Sea which are claimed by both Japan and China.
Japan, which controls the islands, calls them Senkaku, while China calls them the Diaoyu Islands.