BEIJING, July 31 -- China confirmed on Thursday that its ongoing military exercise in southeast coastal areas has affected civil flights, but said the defense ministry has kept close contacts with civil aviation authorities to minimize the impact.
"It is a fact that military activities affect civil flight operations. There is no exception around the world," said spokesman for the Defense Ministry Geng Yansheng.
He told a monthly press briefing the Chinese military informed civil aviation authorities of its military drill arrangements in a timely manner before the exercise began.
The military drill started on July 29. It is part of the Chinese armed forces' routine training, which is important for testing combat capability and improving real-combat training levels and military preparation, according to the defense ministry.
Both military and civil aviation management authorities have taken measures to minimize the exercise's impact on civil flights by opening temporary air routes, allocating protection airspace, and setting alternative deviation plans, Geng said.