Saturday, August 6, 2016

China conducts 'combat patrols' in South China Sea

China's air force sent bombers and fighter jets on "combat patrols" near contested islands in the South China Sea, in a move a senior colonel said was part of an effort to "normalize" such drills and respond to security threats.

The air force sent several H-6 bombers and Su-30 fighter jets to inspect the airspace around the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal, Senior Colonel Shen Jinke of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force said Friday, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Shen Jinke, spokesperson for the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force
The patrols included surveillance and refueling aircraft.

"The Air Force is organizing normalized South China Sea combat patrols, practising tactics ... increasing response capabilities to all kinds of security threats and safeguarding national sovereignty, security and maritime interests," Shen said.