China flies bomber over Scarborough


MANILA, Philippines — China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force flew its nuclear-capable bomber over the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal a few days after the ruling of an arbitral tribunal over the South China Sea dispute.

On July 12, Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration released its final award on the arbitration case initiated by the Philippines.

The tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights within the nine-dash line over the disputed waters.

On July 15, China's State Council Information Office posted photos from the PLA Air Force which shows a nuclear-capable bomber, the H-6K, flying over the Scarborough Shoal.

The H-6K can run at top speeds of 1,050 kilometers per hour and has a range of 6,000 km. It was specifically built for the PLA Air Force.

RELATED: Think tank: China might occupy Scarborough, Ayungin after UN court ruling

A few days before the Chinese bomber flew over Scarborough Shoal, China tested its two new airports on the Spratly Islands.

Two flights landed on Mischief (Panganiban) Reef and Subi (Zamora) Reef which are also being claimed by the Philippines.

This brings the number of airports open to civil aircraft on the Spratly Islands to three. China already has an operational airfield on the Fiery Cross (Kagitingan) Reef. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

RELATED: Fishers advised to avoid Panatag Shoal despite UN tribunal ruling

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