(Corrects headline and paragraph 1 to show aircraft flew around
island, not over it)
TAIPEI, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Chinese military aircraft carried
out two rounds of drills around Taiwan at the weekend, flying
past its southern tip and then around its north near Japan, the
self-ruled island's defence ministry said.
China has been increasingly asserting itself in territorial
disputes in the South and East China Seas. It is also worried
about Taiwan, which it claims as its own, but which is run by a
government China fears is intent on independence.
On Sunday, two Chinese military transport aircraft flew
through the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines
before going up near the Japanese island of Miyako, to Taiwan's
north, where they were joined by two Chinese fighter jets, and
then returned home, the ministry said.
The day before, Chinese bombers and transport aircraft flew
the same route, while Chinese fighters and airborne early
warning aircraft flew only through the Bashi Channel, the
Taiwan's forces monitored the drills and responded
appropriately, the ministry said, adding there was no cause for
China has yet to comment on the drills, but its air force
has carried out several rounds of long-distance training
exercises around Taiwan and the southern Japanese islands in
Beijing has never ruled out the use of force to bring Taiwan
under its control, and has warned that any moves towards formal
independence could prompt an armed response.
China is in the midst of an ambitious military modernisation
programme that includes building aircraft carriers and
developing stealth fighters, to give it the ability to project
power far from its shores.
(Reporting by Jessica Macy Yu; Editing by Ben Blanchard and
First Published: 2017-08-13 07:33:29
Updated 2017-08-13 07:36:27
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