MANILA — Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that they are still to confirm reports that China has flown one of its nuclear-capable Xi’an H-6K bombers over Scarborough Shoal last week.
“We cannot confirm that (information) on our side or our allies,” he stressed, adding that it was China who released news of the aircraft’s overflight.
Pictures of the nuclear-capable H-6K bomber also appeared in the website of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).
The PLAAF also said the overflight was just regularly practice for their aircrews.
The H-6 is a license-built version of the Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 twin-engine jet bomber, built for the PLAAF.
The latest version is the heavily redesigned air-launched cruise missile-carrying H-6K, which, according to United States Department of Defense, will give the PLA a long range standoff offensive air capability with precision-guided munitions.
As this develops, Lorenzana said there is nothing new with China’s continuing refusal to honor the ruling of the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) last July 12, adding that the Chinese has made the same statement in 2012.
The PCA ruling invalidated China’s claim over its “historic rights” to the West Philippine Sea and also pointed out that its ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ claim has no legal basis. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA/northboundasia.com