Defense ministry monitored Chinese flight exercise

Taiwan's defense ministry on Sunday urged the public to remain calm after reports surfaced that six Chinese military aircraft had flown around Taiwan's airspace on Friday. Defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said that the military had closely monitored the Chinese flights.

Reports say that the Chinese aircraft in question flew through a sensitive area in the Pacific near Okinawa, causing Japan's Air Self-Defense Force to scramble aircraft in response. The Chinese aircraft did not infringe upon Japanese territorial airspace, but they did pass through a sensitive area for the second time since September.

The flight on Friday coincided with a sixth round of talks between China and Japan on a stalled maritime and air communication protocol. Although relations between the two countries have been tense, a Chinese military spokesperson said that the flights were part of a long-distance exercise over the Pacific and that it was not geared at any particular country. The spokesperson said the People's Liberation Army would continue with such exercises to protect China's sovereignty.

Source: Radio Taiwan International