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PLA Air Force's flying over Miyako Strait for training: legitimate and reasonable

( Source: China Military Online  )         2015-May-22 17:06

  BEIJING, May 22 (ChinaMil) -- The aircraft of the Air Force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) flew over the Miyako Strait for the first time for training in western Pacific on May 21. The aircraft returned to base the same day with set goal reached and training mission successfully completed, the PLA Air Force spokesperson Shen Jinke said on Thursday.

  This drill is a routine one as part of the annual training plan of the PLA Air Force, Shen said.

  On March 30 this year, the PLA Air Force planes conduct the first-ever high-sea training over the western Pacific by flying over the Bashi Channel. These two drills are all in line with relevant international laws and conform to practices of world air forces, Shen said.

  The Miyako Strait is located between the Okinawa Island and Miyako Island of the Ryukyu Islands. The strait, with a width of 145 nautical miles, is about twice as wide as the Taiwan Strait. As an international waterway, the strait is an important sea lane connecting China's coastal waters and the western Pacific. In accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, all countries are entitled to the freedom of navigation and over-flight in this water.

  The area in which the PLA Air Force's ocean-going flight training was conducted is within international airspace and the flight altitude avoided the master height layer of civil aviation, which didn't affect the international flights, said Xing Hongbo, a military law expert.

  The Chinese Air Force carried out its drill in accordance with relevant international laws and practices, demonstrating China as a responsible big country before the world, Xing commented.

  It is a common practice for air forces of coastal countries to conduct drill in high seas, which also meets the normal needs of China's national defense and military development, the PLA Air Force spokesperson said, adding that in line with the relevant international laws and practices, ocean-going drills by the Chinese Air Force beyond the First Island Chain will proceed in consideration of actual situations.

  Xing Hongbo noted that other countries are expected to understand, respect and adapt to the drills by the Chinese Air Force beyond the First Island Chain.

 

 

Editor :  Guo Renjie