6 August 2016
Chinese Air Force aircraft, including several H-6 bombers and Su-30, have inspected the airspace around the Nansha and Huangyan islands in the South China Sea, Senior Colonel Shen Jinke of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force said, according to Xinhua News Agency.
The flight is part of actual combat training to improve the Air Force’s response to security threats, said the Chinese air force spokeperson.
The patrols included surveillance and refuelling aircraft, Xinhua said, although it did not say when they occurred.
“The Air Force is organising normalised South China Sea combat patrols, practising tactics … increasing response capabilities to all kinds of security threats and safeguarding national sovereignty, security and maritime interests,” Shen said.
On 18 July, several days after an arbitration tribunal court ruled that China did not have historic rights to the South China Sea, China air force announced it would conduct combat patrols on a regular basis in the South China Sea.
China Conducts Combat Air Patrol in the South China Sea: https://seasresearch.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/china-conducts-combat-air-patrol-in-the-south-china-sea/
Facts on the Ground and on the Waters: https://seasresearch.wordpress.com/category/south-china-sea-facts-on-the-ground-and-on-the-waters/