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US Air Force says trains near the South China Sea



By Tim Kelly and Ben Blanchard

TOKYO / BEIJING (Reuters) – US Air Force B-52 bombers have conducted training near the South China Sea and the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, the Air Force said on Friday in a Chinese newspaper was linked to China's drill near Taiwan.

The US Air Force said the B-52s launched from Andersen Air Force Base on the US Pacific island of Guam and "near the South" China Sea "on Tuesday.

" The B-52Hs trained and then traveled near Okinawa to train with USF F-15C Strike Eagles before returning to Guam, "it said.

" Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP) missions are designed to maintain the readiness of US forces. The US Pacific Command's CBP missions, which have been routinely deployed since March 2004, are in line with international law.

An Air Force spokeswoman said, "This was a routine mission."

The exercise this week was reported in Taiwanese media speculating that it may have been a United States warning to China after China's enhanced military presence in Taiwan, the self-governing island of Beijing, has been elevated to its own demands.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian was interviewed at a press conference on Thursday's US bombers, but would only say that the Chinese armed forces were the [Http://www.world.org/www.siemens.com/support/wp-content/view?id=1809] On Friday, the Ministry rejected Reuters' Wu predecessor

China has issued ever stricter warnings to Taiwan to follow the border and has military aircraft around the island flown what China calls "encircling patrols."

Beijing fears Taiwan presidents Tsai Ing-wen, of the Democratic Progressive Party for Independence, wants to promote the island's formal independence. Tsai says she wants to maintain the status quo and peace with China.

The widely read Chinese state tabloid Global Times said in an editorial on Friday that the US bombers should send a message to Beijing about Taiwan

"The US can not prevent the mainland from putting military pressure on Taiwan" she said.

"The mainland military aircraft will fly ever closer to Taiwan and end up flying over the island," the newspaper said

"When the Taiwanese authorities openly promote Taiwan's independence policy and all official contacts with them Leaving the mainland, the mainland will see Taiwan as a hostile regime and have endless means to deal with it. "

Taiwan and the South China Sea are two major faultlines between Washington and Beijing.

China is angered by the US patrol in the controversial South China Sea, where China has recovered land for military bases, and US support for democracy upset Taiwan.

As part of China's military modernization, the new aircraft carrier could soon join Seagoing vessel testing is beginning, as pictures show on Chinese news portals this week when the ship left its dock in Dalian City.

The government warned shipping not to stay away from Dalian for a week, which they called military activity, but gave no further explanation.

(Report by Tim Kelly and Ben Blanchard, edited by Paul Tait and Clarence Fernandez)


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