The US and South Korean air forces kicked off major aerial drills on Monday on the Korean Peninsula, but it appears China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force has also been war gaming in the region – and possibly sending a message to South Korea and the US to back off.
According to Xinhua, though, the drills took place in the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea and involved surface-to-air missile forces, fighter jets and early warning aircraft.
Beijing plans to continue to conduct exercises to protect China's strategic interests in the region, the spokesman said.
A military analyst in Beijing told the South China Morning Post, "the timing of the high-profile announcement by the PLA[AF] is also a warning to Washington and Seoul not to provoke Pyongyang any further."
Though perhaps warning with one hand, the Chinese have extended another: last week PLA Maj. Gen. Shao Yuanming and US Defense Department's Lt. Gen. Richard Clarke met in Washington to discuss opportunities for improving communications channels regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula.