China and Japan go a long way when it comes to territorial disputes, and it is not helping that the two nations are at odds with each other over the South China Sea. Now, China decided to hold air force drills near Japanese islands, which alerted the country. Are the two nations going for war?
According to reports, China has sent more than 40 bombers and other fighter planes near the Japanese islands, specifically through a strait as they make their way to the military drills in the western Pacific.
China’s air force spokesman Shen Jinke clarified last Sunday that the standard “long-range drills in the western Pacific and patrols over the East China Sea air defense identification zone” serve to protect the national security and sovereignty of China.
China Sends Bombers near Japan
According to the statement of China’s Ministry of Defense posted on its site, the patrols were to “carefully monitor and judge the foreign military aircraft that enter the anti-aircraft defence zone, to take measures to respond to different threats in the sky, and to protect national airspace,” as per a statement on the Ministry of Defense site.
China has been against Japan’s efforts with the United States. It has issued a warning, but Japan maintained its cooperation with the United States amidst rising tensions in the South China Sea region.
Apart from the bombers, China is also planning to send drones to the disputed region to monitor any oil and mineral exploits on top of keeping tabs on possible military developments.
Chinese Drones to Fly Over Disputed Region
“Many of the islands and reefs in the South China Sea have much larger underwater portions than what is visible above water, making them harder to survey and map,” Washington Times quoted Li Yingcheng, general manager of China TopRS Technology Co. Ltd said.
“In response to this challenge, China has designed drones to handle such complicated surveying, including the ZC-5B and Zc-10 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The ZC-5B has a maximum flight distance of 1,400 km, and can stay in the air for up to 30 consecutive hours,” Li told Chinese media.