The Chinese military were deployed to the South China Sea where they sent six warnings to a US Navy reconnaissance aircraft, which was in the vicinity, demanding that it “leave immediately.”
The reconnaissance aircraft in question was a Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance, which flew past China’s garrisons in the Spratly Islands. CNN reporters who were on board were able to get a view of China’s military in action.
While flying over Chinese airspace on Mischief Reef, Johnson Reef, Fiery Cross Reef, and Subi Reef, CNN caught sight of “large radar installations, power plants, and runways sturdy enough to carry large military aircraft.” At one outpost, onboard sensors picked up 86 vessels, which included Chinese Coast Guard ships. China has been known to use these ships to strong-arm countries who have competing claims in the South China Sea.
Lt. Lauren Callen, who was in charge of the US Navy crew, stated it was “surprising to see airports in the middle of the ocean.”
The Chinese immediately notified the aircraft that this was Chinese territory, although this argument was rejected by an international arbitration tribunal two years ago.
China demanded that the US plane “leave immediately and keep out to avoid any misunderstanding.”
According to CNN, the US Navy were consistent with their response.
“I am a sovereign immune US naval aircraft conducting lawful military activities beyond the national airspace of any coastal state,” the crew replied, adding, “In exercising these rights guaranteed by international law, I am operating with due regard for the rights and duties of all states.”
The Philippines government also reported that China have been recently hostile in the South China Sea.
“Leave immediately,” Chinese forces in the Spratlys warned a Philippine military aircraft earlier this year, according to the Associated Press. “I am warning you again, leave immediately or you will pay the possible consequences,” the voice said over the radio.
Chinese forces in the Spratlys warned a Philippine military aircraft in the Spratley’s to “Leave immediately” earlier on in the year. A follow-up was message was sent to the aircraft “I am warning you again, leave immediately or you will pay the possible consequences.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
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