A Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force formation conducted island patrols on Friday, flying over the Bashi Channel.
The formation was made up of Xian H-6K bombers, Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets, Shenyang J-11 fighter jets, Shaanxi Y-8 electronic countermeasures aircraft, Tupolev Tu-154MD electronic intelligence (ELINT) planes, and KJ-2000 airborne early warning aircraft. This is the first time PLAAF’s new Su-35 fighters are flying above the Bashi Channel.
The Bashi Channel is a waterway between Y’Ami Island of the Philippines and Orchid Island of Taiwan. It is a part of the Luzon Strait in the Pacific Ocean.
Over the past few months, China has repeatedly sent its warships and military aircraft into waters and skies close to Taiwan, sometimes right into the island country’s Air Defense Identification Zone, in moves designed to intimidate the government of President Tsai Ing-wen.