China’s air force has landed several bombers of various types, on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of a training exercise in the disputed region, it said in a statement.
The bombers included the long-range, nuclear strike-capable H-6K and carried out landing and take off drills at an unidentified island airfield after carrying out simulated strike training on targets at sea, the Chinese airforce said
The US has also sent warships to disputed areas in the South China Sea in what is interpreted as a bid to challenge China’s extensive sovereignty claims in the territory. The disputed territories also have several claims by the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taipei.
The waters are considered as vital global shipping routes besides containing what are believed to be significant oil and natural gas deposits.
The U.S. and others accuse Beijing of militarizing the region to bolster its claims. Adm. Phil Davidson, the new head of the Pacific Command, said recently that China had reached the tipping point in its control over the South China Sea.
Pentagon spokesman Lt Col Christopher Logan said, “we have seen these same reports and China’s continued militarisation of disputed features in the South China Sea only serves to raise tensions and destabilise the region.”