Chinese air force planes passed through the narrow Bashi Channel to the south of Taiwan on a long-range exercise on Thursday, Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said, the first such drills near the island publicized since Taiwan held elections this month.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory to be taken by force if needed. It has routinely sent bombers and other aircraft close to the island since President Tsai Ing-wen first took office in 2016.
Beijing believes Tsai is pushing for the island’s formal independence.
Tsai says Taiwan is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its official name. She won re-election by a landslide this month on a platform of standing up to China.
In a short statement, the Defence Ministry said Chinese aircraft including H-6 bombers and KJ-500 early warning and control aircraft flew to the south of Taiwan through the Bashi Channel which separates the island from the Philippines.