CNN Footage Shows PLA’s Professional, Effective Response as US Media Plays up Tension in South China Sea

After US media reported that a US Navy spy plane was warned by a Chinese fighter jet over South China Sea, trying to play up tension in the region by portraying an “aggressive” China, experts said the footage it released actually showed the professional and effective response of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and the real aggressor is the US military that frequently sends spy planes to China’s doorstep for close-in reconnaissance.

In footage filmed by CNN on Friday on a US P-8A reconnaissance aircraft, which  took off from a US air base on the Japanese island of Okinawa, the US plane received a warning from PLA when it was about 48 kilometers from China’s Xisha Islands. “American aircraft. Chinese airspace is 12 nautical miles. Not approaching any more or you bear all responsibility,” said the warning. Then, a Chinese fighter jet, identified by the US personnel as a J-11 but which was actually an Su-27, armed with air-to-air missiles, intercepted the US plane, nestling in about 156 meters off its port side. 

According to CNN, the Chinese plane left when the US plane turned south.

The US plane then got warned from the Chinese Navy guided-missile destroyer Changsha after it spotted the Changsha and approached it at a low altitude, CNN reported. 

“US aircraft. US aircraft. This is Chinese naval warship 173. You are clearly endangering my safety,” said the Changsha over radio communications. The US military aircraft replied it will maintain a safe distance.

The US media reports showed that the PLA has a complete and professional procedure of tracking, monitoring, escorting and driving away foreign warplanes in the South China Sea, a Chinese military expert told the Global Times on Sunday, requesting anonymity.

The US aircraft immediately received radio calls from the PLA when approaching Chinese airspace and was escorted by a PLA heavy fighter jet until it left, which shows that PLA radars and warplanes are always on alert to deal with any situation, the expert said.

The PLA Navy destroyer Changsha‘s interaction with the US aircraft was also powerful and professional, as the US’ report also showed the PLA warship’s presence in the region, the expert said.

CNN described the encounters as “stark evidence of the tensions brewing in the South China Sea, and between the US and China,” saying the South China Sea has emerged as a major potential flashpoint in the Asia-Pacific over the past several years.

Analysts said that while the US media reports aim to hype the “China threat” theory by attempting to depict an “aggressive” PLA toward the US aircraft, the truth is that it was the US spy plane that conducted a close-in reconnaissance on China at China’s doorstep, and the real aggressor is the US military.

According to analysts, the footage shows the roots of the tension: the US makes provocative acts at other country’s doorsteps and not allowing the country being threatened to make the necessary reaction. “Just another Friday” reflected its high-intensity close-in reconnaissance in the region. 

According to think tank reports, the US military frequently sends aircraft and vessels to the South China Sea, the East China Sea and the Taiwan Straits for close-in reconnaissance operations and provocative transits, although China is thousands of kilometers away from the US.

The US should reflect on its hegemonic actions and stop stirring up troubles at China’s doorstep, rather than throwing mud on China which is safeguarding its own rights, experts said.

Source : Global Times

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