Just as China-Japan relations had begun warming up, Japan reported on Dec. 6 that five Chinese military aircraft were observed flying over an area between Okinawa’s main island of Okinawa and Miyako island. The five aircraft are believed to have been capable of posing a threat to Guam, according to a military expert.
Chinese military commentator Li Xiaojian said the jets may have departed for the Western Pacific to take part in a large-scale naval and air combat exercise, in which Chinese naval ships also participated. This also signals that China has the joint combat capability of combining its naval and air power.
Japan’s defense ministry said a Chinese Y9 intelligence gathering plane, two Y8 early warning planes and two H6 bombers had flown southwards over the East China Sea and were headed towards the vicinity of the main island of Okinawa before entering the Western Pacific ocean. They then flew back over the East China Sea. In response, several Japanese Self-Defense Force planes were also assembled to take flight in response.
Li said the Y-9 aircraft is equipped with an advanced electronic reconnaissance system which allows it to detect and intercept air and sea targets. The Y-8 aircraft is one of China’s most popular military and civilian transport/cargo aircraft which is capable of carrying troops, dropping supplies, conducting parachute drops, and functioning as an air ambulance. The Y-6 and water surface ships serve as platforms for the launch of attack missiles.
Chinese H-6 bombers could pose a threat to the US carrier fleet and land bases in the South China Sea, East China Sea, the Korean peninsula, and US military bases in Japan and Guam, according to the analyst.
Full article: PLA aircraft could threaten Guam, says analyst (Want China Times)