Chinese Military Tells US Navy Plane Carrying CNN reporters to Leave Spratly Islands
A US Poseidon P8-A Reconaissance plane carrying a team of CNN reporters was warned on Friday by the Chinese military to leave the area of the Spratly Islands in the south China Sea. According to Breitbart, the Navy Aircraft received no less than 6 warnings.
“U.S. military aircraft, papa 8 alpha, this is Chinese military. China has sovereignty over Nansha islands including the reef and its adjacent waters. Leave immediately and keep out so as to avoid any misunderstanding,” an unidentified voice said, according to recordings provided by CNN.
“I am conducting lawful military activity beyond the national airspace of any coastal state and exercising these rights as guaranteed by international law,” the U.S. Naval pilot operating the aircraft said. “I am operating with due regard to the rights of all states.”
The article did not say whether the pilot complied with the request, but it’s unlikely they did.
This last couple of weeks has been filled with challenges for the US Navy, as Iran decided to fire off an anti-ship missile during its “exercises” in the Strait of Hormuz. The exercises were designed to “practice” blocking off the Strait, which is the major shipping lane in the region. And, of course, sending a message to the US after sanctions were reimposed by President Trump.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed on Sunday it had held war games in the Gulf over the past several days, saying they were aimed at “confronting possible threats” by enemies.
U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, said earlier this week the scope and scale of the exercises were similar to ones Iran had carried out in the past. But the timing of this particular set of exercises was designed to get Washington’s attention.
The problem with challenges is that one day someone could take up the challenge. China’s miltarization of the Spratly Islands jeopardizes the major shipping lanes in the South China Sea. Iran could actually close off the Strait of Hormuz, which would also throw a major kink into an important shipping lane. The US aims to keep those shipping lanes open. Even if a team of CNN reporters are with them.