BEIJING – A group of Chinese Air Force aircraft including H-6K bomber aircraft roam over disputed areas in the South China Sea. Beijing claims, the flight of a group of military aircraft as a regular air combat patrol.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Shen Jinke confirmed that the flight of a group of aircraft took place last Thursday. However, Shen was quoted as saying Xinhua on Saturday (25/11/2017), refused to specify the number of aircraft involved in patrols in the disputed area.

“The mission shows that the PLAAF has the ability to break through the ‘First Island Chain’,” he said, referring to a line covering the territory from Japan to Taiwan.

The one-day operation comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to be ready to fight at any moment.

“The air patrol also aims to show that the PLAAF is ready to join the navy on the high seas for any kind of mission,” Beijing security expert Li Jie told the South China Morning Post.

The mission of a group of Beijing planes marked the first PLAAF jets flying near Taiwan since the end of the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) in late October.

The Chinese Air Force has planned to make their planes circumnavigate Taiwan island as a routine patrol. Beijing regards Taiwan as one of China’s disillusioned provinces and has never acknowledged the territory’s independence.

“Since the National Congress ended, the Air Force has honed their ability to win ‘potential wars’,” Shen said.