The Chinese Air Force says overflights by its warplanes over the South China Sea, Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait are legitimate1, reasonable and justified2.
The Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke said the flights over the high seas are part of the air force's routine exercises which aim to build it into a strategic military force that can match with the country's national interests.
"The Chinese Air Force has performed various training subjects on fighting against jamming and interference, reconnaissance and pre-warning, maritime3
patrol, sea assault and air refueling since it began routine drills on the high seas two years ago, which have improved the army's high sea maneuverability and tested its combat capabilities4
in blue water."
He said the air force will constantly improve its capabilities through practical training in order to safeguard the country's national sovereignty and territorial5
integrity, and defend the country's aerospace6
safety and development interests.
The remarks come a week after China lodged7
"solemn representations" to Japan over an encounter between Japanese fighter jets and Chinese warplanes passing through the international airspace of the Miyako Strait.