China planes ‘circle Taiwan’ in military drill

China’s air force is conducting training flights around the self-governing island of Taiwan that mark an “historical shift” in its combat ability, the military in Beijing said. Multiple missions were launched from separate bases on Thursday featuring aircraft including fighters, early warning planes and the H-6K long-range bomber, according to a post on the air force’s official microblog. It says the planes circled Taiwan, transiting the Bashi Strait to the south and Miyako Strait to the north, along the sea border with Japan, AP reports. Spokesman Shen Jinke said China’s air force “has the firm will, complete confidence and sufficient capability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”