Taiwan’s defense ministry released photos on Friday of Taiwan’s multiple combat aircraft (bottom) closely monitoring Chinese warplanes. File Photo courtesy of Taiwan Defense Ministry
July 21 (UPI) -- Japan and Taiwan scrambled fighter jets on Thursday after China flew a squadron of strategic bombers over the western Pacific, according to a Taiwanese press report.
The Liberty Times reported Friday the Chinese bombers flew from the East China Sea to the western Pacific, an exercise that may have been conducted to warn Taiwan and Japan.
Beijing is locked in a territorial and maritime dispute in the waters and claims the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands.
China flew eight Xian H-6 strategic bombers and two Shaanxi Y-8 drone carrier aircraft.
The planes flew across airspace near Taiwan then traveled over the Miyako Strait, a waterway that lies between Miyako Island and Okinawa Island.
Taiwanese newspaper United Daily News reported the Y-8 aircraft were equipped with electromagnetic interference technology used to create disturbances for communication systems.
Taipei's military responded by scrambling the AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo, also known as the Indigenous Defense Fighter.
The IDF is a multirole combat aircraft that was built after the United States refused to sell Taiwan the F-20 Tigershark and F-16 Fighting falcon jet fighters, in response to diplomatic pressure from Beijing.
Taiwan's defense ministry released photos of the IDF closely monitoring the Chinese strategic bombers, as they "threatened" to enter Taiwan's air defense identification zone, according to UDN.
Japan's air self-defense force scrambled F-15J eagle fighters, according to the report.
China previously flew six Xian H-6 bombers over the area between Okinawa and the Miyako Islands, prompting Japan to scramble fighter jets in response.
Beijing has said the flight is legal.