The Chinese Air Force sent multiple aircraft models to the West Pacific, via the Bashi Strait, for a routine combat simulation drill at sea, a spokesperson said.

Shen Jinke, spokesperson of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, said the fleet included H-6K bombers, Su-30 fighters, and air tankers, the People’s Daily reported.

The fleet on Monday conducted reconnaissance and early warning, sea surface cruising, inflight refuelling, and achieved all the drill’s targets.

The drill was a routine arrangement as part of the Air Force’s annual training plan, and conformed to international law and practice, said Shen.

Drills at sea were common practices of coastal countries and a requirement of Chinese defence.

The Chinese Air Force will organise drills at sea, off island chains at regular basis, the spokesperson said.

The Air Force will focus on improving the quality of combat simulation drills, flying over island chains, controlling the East China Sea and cruising the South China Sea. It will also improve capability in plateau areas.

The Air Force will also speed up its advanced new military equipment system in a bid to promote strategic transformation, Shen added.