Several Chinese bombers, fighters and surveillance aircraft encountered and dealt with interference from foreign warplanes while conducting a training mission over the Tsushima Strait on Monday, according to a Chinese military spokesperson.
This is the first time that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force has flown over the Tsushima Strait, Shen Jinke, spokesman for the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, was quoted as saying in a statement released on the organization's official Sina Weibo account.
The Tsushima Strait, which lies between South Korea and Japan, belongs to international waters and the training, routinely conducted by the PLA Air Force annually during this time of the year, is in line with international law and practice and did not target any specific country, region or target, the statement said.
Various types of military aircraft, including H-6K strategic bombers and Su-30 fighter jets were taking part in a high-seas training exercise when they had to deal with interference from foreign military aircraft, the statement said.
According to a report from South Korea's Yonhap News Agency citing Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the South Korean Air force dispatched F-15K fighters in an emergent patrol mission on Monday after five Chinese military aircraft allegedly entered the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) that morning.
According to the JCS, two H-6K bombers, two Su-30 fighter jets and a single TU-154 aircraft from China entered the KADIZ after flying through a Japanese air defense identification zone.
This is the second time this month that a training mission involving bombers and fighters from PLA Air Force has been made public. The previously announced mission involved a regular patrol exercise that passed over the Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait near the island of Taiwan last week.
As an important force for managing crisis and winning wars, the PLA Air Force is proactively taking steps to accomplish its mission for a new era, said Shen, adding that the Air Force has "flown new routes that it has never flown before and gone to places it has never been to before."