Offbeat China air force lands bombers on South China Sea island

07:45  19 may  2018
07:45  19 may  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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After deploying from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the bombers “flew a formation pass,” then dispersed and “simultaneously conducted operations in the South China Sea and Northeast Asia,” according to the statement.

This photo taken on May 18, 2018 shows tugs guiding China's first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier, known as 'Type 001A', as it returns to port in Dalian in China's northeastern Liaoning province after its first sea trial. - China's first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier started sea trials on May 13, 2018 and returned to port in Dalian on May 18. (Photo by - / AFP) / China OUT        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images) © AFP/Getty Images This photo taken on May 18, 2018 shows tugs guiding China's first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier, known as 'Type 001A', as it returns to port in Dalian in China's northeastern Liaoning province after its first sea trial. - China's first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier started sea trials on May 13, 2018 and returned to port in Dalian on May 18. (Photo by - / AFP) / China OUT (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images) China's air force has landed bombers on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of a training exercise in the disputed region, it said in a statement.

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U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers have carried out training in the vicinity of the South China Sea and the island of Okinawa, the air force has said, in what a Chinese newspaper linked to China 's drills near Taiwan.

The South China Sea War, also called The War of the South China Sea , was a military confrontation between China and the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan. The conflict came from the Spratly Islands dispute and China 's nine-dash line claims.

"A division of the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) recently organized multiple bombers such as the H-6K to conduct take-off and landing training on islands and reefs in the South China Sea in order to improve our ability to 'reach all territory, conduct strikes at any time and strike in all directions'," it said in the statement issued on Friday.

It said the pilot of the H-6K bomber conducted assault training on a designated sea target and then carried out take-offs and landings at an airport in the area, describing the exercise as preparation for "the West Pacific and the battle for the South China Sea".

The notice, published on the PLAAF's Weibo microblogging account, did not provide the precise location of the exercise.

The United States has dispatched warships to disputed areas of the South China Sea in a bid to challenge China's extensive sovereignty claims in the territory, which is subject to various claims by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia.

"The United States remains committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific," Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan told Reuters.

"We have seen these same reports and China's continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea only serves to raise tensions and destabilize the region."

(Reporting by David Stanway and Winni Zhou; Additional reporting by Phil Stewart in WASHINGTON; Editing by Kim Coghill)

China Warns 2 American Warships in South China Sea .
The country’s defense ministry said it had confronted the U.S. warships, which passed through waters near the Paracel Islands that China claims as its own. The Chinese confronted the American ships and warned them to leave, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement posted on its website, but other details of the encounter were not immediately clear.The American vessels — the Higgins, a destroyer, and the Antietam, a cruiser — passed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands, an archipelago in the northern part of the disputed waters of the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam.

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