The South China Sea has become a hornet’s nest. Chinese aircraft patrols increasingly run into military aircraft of United States, Japan and even Australia. Major powers with interests in the region often launch surveillance operations such as the one carried out by the US Air Force with the deployment this Monday of an RC-135U electronic intelligence reconnaissance aircraft with the aim of scanning the southern coast of China. This mission, detected by a flight tracking website, occurs a few days after the incident between a Chinese J-16 fighter and an Australian reconnaissance aircraft which was blocked mid-flight.
The reconnaissance plane -which took off from the Okinawa military base- flew over the island of Hainan, where China has the Yulin naval base where nuclear submarines remain berthed of the Chinese Navy (PLA). Yulin is also the nerve center of the People’s Liberation Army Navy in the region. Afterwards, the US plane headed for the Gulf of Tonkin.This weekend, the Australian government accused Chinese authorities of carrying out a J-16 fighter interception of its P-8A surveillance aircraft in the South China Sea. The Chinese aircraft dropped a junk device on the australian plane in an operation that endangered the crew, according to the Australian executive. Recently, Canadian authorities also accused China of carrying out several dangerous interceptions against a plane of its Air Force.
Journalist Joseph Trevithick recalls in The Drive that the path of the US RC-135U is similar to the one followed by a US Navy EP-3E Aries II surveillance plane in 2001 when it collided during an emergency landing with a US Navy aircraft. J-8 fighter of the People’s Liberation Army 110 kilometers off the coast of Hainan Island.
The Eursaian Times newspaper points out that the Chinese Yulin naval base is a place of great interest for an aircraft such as the American RC-135U due to the large number of radars and signal transmitters it houses. In the past, China has detected other US maritime patrol aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon, equipped with a hidden radar pod.
Last night, USAF RC-135U Combat Sent 64-14849 flew a collection sortie over the South China Sea, just off the coast of the Southern Theater and Hainan Island. Included are points in China and the South China Sea on areas tagged as “military use” on OpenStreetMaps. #ADSB #AE01D5 https://t.co/EfSFt5SDoT pic.twitter.com/Ufi9WdWbQQ
— Amelia Smith (@ameliairheart) June 6, 2022
Recently, the Washington Post has revealed that China is building a secret naval facility in Cambodia, in the Gulf of Thailand, for the exclusive use of the Chinese Army, although both parties have denied this information.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.