WASHINGTON — China flexed its air power muscles last week near Japan and Taiwan in multiple exercises designed to hone its ability to operate over the sea, according to Reuters.
On its official microblog, the Chinese Air Force said its aircraft flew through the Miyako Strait, near Japan, and through the Bashi Channel, which lies between independently ruled Taiwan and the Philippines.
Japan's Ministry of Defense released a response on Thursday after six Xian H-6 bombers flew through the Miyako Strait, calling the incident "unusual" but not a violation of their airspace.
The Miyako Strait lies between Japan's southern islands of Miyako and Okinawa, northeast of Taiwan.
Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday that it closely monitored the planes, and they flew just outside the Air Defense Identification Zone.
The following day, China’s defense ministry told the regionto deal with it. "The relevant side should not make a fuss about nothing or over-interpret, it will be fine once they get used to it," China’s ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said that the exercises were planned in accord with international law and were not aimed at any specific country, adding that the exercises will continue. China has a record of asserting itself in the region, especially the South and East China seas.
The nation views Taiwan as a wayward province, according to the Hill, and has warned against independence movements since the Democratic Progressive Party won the presidential seat last January.
China is also undergoing a military overhaul designed to improve its overseas power.