A U.S. official said on Tuesday a Chinese H-6 strategic bomber flew around the Spratly Islands over the weekend as a show of “strategic force” in the disputed West Philippine Sea also pronounced as South China’s, ABS-CBN reports.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity said it was the second such flight by a Chinese bomber in the South China Sea this year. The first was on Jan. 1.
The activity comes after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has signaled harder approach against China when he takes office on Jan. 20, with tweets criticizing Beijing for its trade practices and accusing it of failing to help rein in nuclear-armed North Korea.
Meanwhile, commander Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman, said he had no specific comment on China’s recent bomber activities, but added: “we continue to observe a range of ongoing Chinese military activity in the region.”
During the earlier days of 2017, China said that a group of Chinese warships led by its sole aircraft carrier was testing weapons and equipment in exercises this week in the South China Sea, where territory is claimed by several regional states.