The Chinese military has conducted air force drills in the western Pacific close to Beijing’s regional rivals Japan and Taiwan on Friday and Saturday. The Japanese Air Force scrambled fighter jets to shadow the Chinese planes. On Friday, Chinese military planes flew through the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan and the Philippines. Later on Saturday, the planes passed through the Miyako Strait near Japan’s Okinawa island,

which hosts a large portion of the US military troops stationed in the country. The Chinese Air Force said the annual drills went as scheduled and “are not aimed at any specific country, region or target.” “Organizing the air corps to carry out exercises far at sea is a normal thing to do for the air forces of countries which border the ocean,” the Chinese military statement said. READ MORE