- A nuclear-capable H-6K bomber was seen flying over the disputed Scarborough Shoal
- China SCIO Twitter account confirmed that the bomber belongs to Chinese Air Force
- H-6K has a maximum range of 3,057 kilometers and carry a payload of up to 16 tons
A nuclear-capable long-range bomber was photographed flying over the disputed waters of the South China Sea, after the release of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA) ruling over the Philippine-China sea dispute, stating that China’s nine-dash claims had no legal basis.
In its ruling, the PCA stated that China made violations to the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone.
“There was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or their resources. The Tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line,'” the Tribunal declared.
A photo posted in China’s State Council Information Office (SCIO) Twitter account confirmed that the H-6K bomber spotted near Scarborough Shoal was flown by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).
In a statement released by PLAAF Senior Colonel Shen Jinke on Chinese social media site, Weibo, it said that the overflight was part of a regular practice procedure of the PLAAF’s more realistic combat training, as per an article published by The Wall Street Journal.
“To effectively fulfill its mission, the air force will continue to conduct combat patrols on a regular basis in the South China Sea,” Shen said.
“The PLA Air Force will firmly defend national sovereignty, security, and maritime interests, safeguard regional peace and stability, and cope with various threats and challenges,” he added.
In 2007, the PLAAF introduced the H-6K long-range bomber. With a maximum range of about 3,057 kilometers, the bomber can carry a payload of up to 12 tons. 16 nuclear-capable H-6K are currently in service with PLAAF.
According to Masinloc town Mayor Arsenia Lim, China’s display of its nuclear capable bomber is to flaunt its strong military capability.