An aviation division equipped with new-type bombers of the PLA Air Force is preparing for flight training. (File photo/chinamil.com.cn)
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force conducted its first military training above the West Pacific Ocean on Monday.
"The training was held to promote the air force's combat capability," Shen Jinke, spokesman of the PLA Air Force, said in South China's Guangzhou Province on Monday.
Warplanes flew to the West Pacific on Monday for training through the Bashi Channel, an international waterway linking the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, and returned the same day after completing the training and achieved their goal, according to Shen.
Shen added that the military training is part of the annual plan for the PLA Air Force and also a requirement of China's national defense development.
"The training complies with relevant international laws and practices, and is not aimed at any country or target and poses no threat to any country or region."
"Pilots can be trained both mentally and tactically in a quasi-military situation to simulate actual combat when they are flying above international waters," Xu Yongling, an air force expert, told the Global Times.
"The US navy and air force have conducted multiple joint exercises at sea, but none were conducted for the Chinese military in the open seas such as the West Pacific Ocean. Similar joint exercises will be strengthened in the future and there will be more training especially in the West Pacific," said Zhang Junshe, a research fellow with the Navy Military Academic Research Institute.