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China confirms military aircraft flew over high seas

(China Military Online)

09:01, July 26, 2013

BEIJING, July 25 (ChinaMil) -- Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said on July 24, 2013 that a Chinese military's Y-8 early warning aircraft flew over the high seas between the Okinawa Island and the Miyako Island and then back on the very day. Japanese media said this is the first time for the Chinese military aircraft to fly over this airspace. Although it is not Japan's airspace, Onodera thought this is a manifestation of China's increasingly active maritime activities.

Reporters from the Global Times, a Chinese news paper, contacted the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of China on this matter on July 24. The Information Affairs Bureau of the MND replied that the recent training of the aircraft of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLAN) to the Western Pacific Ocean was a regular arrangement in its annual plan which did not aim at any specific country or target. It complies with relevant international laws and practice. The Chinese side has the legitimate rights to fly freely over the relevant sea area.

Four ships of China's newly-formed Maritime Police Bureau patrolled the waters near the Diaoyu Islands for the first time. The four ships, namely Maritime Police 2101, 2166, 2350 and 2506, successively entered the waters near the Diaoyu Islands at about 10:50 on July 24, according to the Japan's Kyodo News on the very day. This is the first time for the maritime police patrol ships of China's Maritime Police Bureau which was formally set up on July 22, 2013 to enter these waters, according to the Japan's Yomiuri News.

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