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China clarifies Turkey visit


China denies sending aircraft to Turkey.

October 18: Various media outlets have been reporting that Chinese Air Force Su-27 Flankers and MiG-29 Fulcrums had been exercising with Turkish Air Force aircraft at Konya Air Base recently under Exercise Anatolian Eagle, but here at Key we decided to await some evidence.

The Chinese Air Force has issued a statement saying that “joint training” has been undertaken with the Turkish military between September 20 and October 4, but that no aircraft were involved.

In April 2009 the Chinese Air Force Commander General Xu Qiliang visited the Turkish Air Force Commander Hassan Al-Aqsa to agree “military exchanges” in the form of joint training. However, the statement goes on to say that the Chinese Air Force has no air-to-air refuelling capability and that Turkey is beyond the range of its fighter aircraft. Clearance to fly over Afghanistan was also never agreed, it said.

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