PLA Naval Air Force conducts training in South China Sea
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy carried out intensive training for its new warplanes, including the H-6G and H-6J bombers, in the South China Sea, Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, told a press conference on Thursday. The training was a routine part of the Navy's annual plan.
"They finished taking off and landing, long range attacks, assaulting sea-surface targets and other subjects, and they achieved the desired effect," said Ren, adding that the training is helpful in improving the pilots' technical and tactical level and the troops' all-weather combat ability.
The training came as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Beijing of treating the South China Sea as its maritime empire. The U.S. also claimed China was violating international law in the South China Sea.
On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin hit back at Washington, citing media reports as saying that the U.S. carried out over 2,000 missions in the South China Sea in the first half of this year alone.
"Since July 15, U.S. military aircraft have conducted close-range reconnaissance in the South China Sea for 12 consecutive days. Recently, the U.S. also sent two aircraft carriers to these waters while calling on its allies and partners to send warships and join it in the South China Sea," said Wang.