China's Air Force holds training flights around rival Taiwan

China's Air Force says it is conducting training flights around the self-governing island of Taiwan that mark an "historical shift" in its combat ability.

A post on the Air Force's official microblog says multiple missions were launched from separate bases on Thursday featuring aircraft including fighters, early warning planes and the H-6K long-range bomber.

It says the planes circled Taiwan, transiting the Bashi Strait to the south and Miyako Strait to the north along the sea border with Japan.

The report quotes Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke as saying China's Air Force "has the firm will, complete confidence and sufficient capability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity."

China claims Taiwan as its own territory to be brought under its control by force if necessary.