China conducts flyover of waterways near Japan, Taiwan

BEIJING (AP) — China has conducted a flyover of strategically important waterways near Taiwan and Japan, in what it calls a routine exercise.

China’s Defense Ministry says it flew planes Saturday over the Miyako Strait between two Japanese islands. The Taiwanese Defense Ministry says the Chinese also flew over the Bashi Channel adjacent to Taiwan. The waterways are two of the connections between the contested South and East China seas and the Pacific Ocean.

China has previously run similar exercises. But Saturday’s flyover was the first since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen spoke to President-elect Donald Trump, a call denounced by China.

China’s Defense Ministry did not mention Taiwan in its statement about the exercise, denouncing Japan instead for scrambling two jets to monitor its planes. Japan’s Defense Ministry did not immediately comment.