Chinese air force patrols over South China Sea ‘show PLA’s capacity to breach cold war line of containment’

A team of Chinese air force bombers has carried out a series of patrols over the disputed South China Sea, in an exercise the People’s Liberation Army said showed its capability to breach the cold war era line of containment.
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The air force said on Thursday that the exercises involved H-6K bombers flying over the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines and the Miyako Strait near the Japanese island of Okinawa in a series of training exercises.
PLA air force spokesman Shen Jinke told China Central Television that the air patrol aimed to show that Chinese jets had the capability to break the “First Island Chain”, a line stretching from Japan and Taiwan which Beijing says has been used by the United States to contain it since the cold war.
Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said the drill indicated the PLA had been able to deploy different aviation teams from different military regions.