Japan scrambles fighter jets after Beijing flies bombers over E. China Sea

RT – November 20, 2017

Beijing dispatched intelligence-gathering aircraft as well as bombers through international airspace in the East China Sea. The move prompted Japan to scramble fighter jets in response, despite China calling the flyover a “regular” exercise.

The incident occurred on Sunday, when China flew four Chinese H-6 bombers and two intelligence-gathering aircraft through the Miyako Strait between the islands of Okinawa and Miyako and back, the Japan Times reported. Japan scrambled its jets in response, although no violation of Japanese airspace was detected.

The move prompted Japan to ensure it would keep a close watch on the “expanding and increasing” actions of the Chinese military in the area. Beijing, meanwhile, accused Tokyo of blowing the incident out of proportion, stressing that it was part of “regular” drills.

Ren Guoqiant, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, reiterated that the drills were legitimate. He said his country’s military will continue to organize similar exercises in the future, according to Chinese news outlet Sina.