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Chinese warships conduct live fire drills in Indian Ocean, Air Force active over Taiwan, Japan

China's surveillance aircraft's Shaanxi Y-8 flew over Japan's islands recently.(Representative Image) Photograph: (Agencies)

WION Web Team East Asia Aug 25, 2017, 11.56 AM (IST)

China's state-run news agency Xinhua said today Chinese warships carried out live fire drills in the Indian Ocean.

Xinhua said Chinese ships were involved in a fire drill in the western part of the Indian Ocean, Reuters reported.

The fire drills could be part of anti-piracy patrols off Somalia and Yemen often carried out by Chinese ships, India has however expressed concern over Chinese naval activity in the Indian Ocean. The Chinese military did not clarify the reason behind the drills, Reuters said.

Not only the Navy, the Chinese Air Force has been active over South and the East China Sea.

Chinese Defense ministry in a statement said: "No matter what obstructions are encountered, the Chinese air force will carry on as before; no matter who flies with us, the Chinese air force will fly a lot and as normal!".

Taiwan, an ally of US has been at loggerheads with Beijing since it does not recognise Taiwan's independent government. China has been carrying out air drills for the past several months, in a blunt message China's defense ministry said,"No amount of interference or shadowing of its aircraft will stop the Chinese air force from carrying out long-range drills."

A few weeks ago two Chinese military surveillance aircrafts flew close to Taiwan's air defense identification zone(ADIZ). The surveillance aircrafts Shaanxi Y-8 flew northeast through the Bashi Channel to the south and later flew over the Miyako Strait. Taiwan has now detected Chinese air activity on at least four occasions this month.

Japan too is concerned after Chinese jets reportedly flew close to its islands. 

"It was the first time we have recorded Chinese military aircraft flying this route," minister of defence Itsunori Onodera said. 

"We expressed our concern through diplomatic channels," he added.

Japan has been trying to fend off hostile activity in the Korean peninsula with North Korea increasingly flexing its military muscle in the region and with increased Chinese activity, the region is seen as a volatile area beset with super power games

Japan and US conducted a joint military excercise two weeks - the largest-scale military drill to be held between the two countries as the region continued to be in turmoil. 



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