Asia

Chinese ships, planes hold war games in Sea of Japan

FILE - In this undated file photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese H-6K bomber patrols the islands and reefs in the South China Sea. Chinese planes and ships held war games in the Sea of Japan last week, the military said in a statement on its website late Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, during which Beijing displayed its latest-generation frigate Jingzhou and destroyer Xi'an at a time of bitter territorial disputes with Asian neighbors. The ministry said aircraft were guided to their targets with the aid of early warning planes. Other types of aircraft involved weren't identified, although China has been touting the capabilities of its latest-generation long-range H-6K strategic bomber equipped with the DH-20 land-attack cruise missile, giving it the ability to hit targets as far away as Australia. (Liu Rui/Xinhua via AP, File)

FILE - In this undated file photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese H-6K bomber patrols the islands and reefs in the South China Sea. Chinese planes and ships held war games in the Sea of Japan last week, the military said in a statement on its website late Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, during which Beijing displayed its latest-generation frigate Jingzhou and destroyer Xi'an at a time of bitter territorial disputes with Asian neighbors. The ministry said aircraft were guided to their targets with the aid of early warning planes. Other types of aircraft involved weren't identified, although China has been touting the capabilities of its latest-generation long-range H-6K strategic bomber equipped with the DH-20 land-attack cruise missile, giving it the ability to hit targets as far away as Australia. (Liu Rui/Xinhua via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

China's military says its planes and ships held war games in the Sea of Japan last week.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement on its website that the long-range exercises staged Friday pitted a red army against a blue one in a simulated bomber attack on a naval task force.

It said the primary ships in the exercise were the Jingzhou, a latest-generation type 054A class stealth frigate of which China is planning to deploy more than two dozen, and the type 052C destroyer Xi'an.

The statement made no mention of what sort of conflict the exercise was intended as a response to, prospective foes or why the Sea of Japan was chosen as the location of the drills. China claims a chain of uninhabited islands controlled by Japan.