A camera crew from CNN that was being carried inside of a U.S. Navy Plane in a flight over the South China sea this past Friday was able to capture footage of a fighter jet from COmmunist China as it harrassed the aircraft as it made a standard flight.
The U.S. Navy P-8A recon plane was flying at a height of 21,500 feet at a distance of close to 30 miles from the contested Paracel Islands on which China hosts a few military bases.
“American aircraft. Chinese airspace is 12 nautical miles,” explained a woman over the radio system from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). “Not approaching any more or you bear all responsibility.”
The U.S. plane ended up being quickly intercepted by a Chinese PLA J-11 fighter jet which flew in close to just a few hundred feet from the recon plane for a duration of close to 15 minutes prior to flying away.
The report stated that the event that took place underscored just how serious tensions currently are between the two countries.
The event has taken place just a month in the wake of the U.S. first detecting a Chinese spy balloon as it flew out over U.S. airspace on January 28th, which ended up being shot down near the start of February just off the coast of South Carolina after President Joe Biden let it float its way across the entire country, flying over a number of highly sensitive military sites, over the source of a week.
The U.S. military was able to put out a number of high-fidelity close-up pictures of the spy balloon this past week which were taken by the pilot from the front of a U-2 spy place that had been in the area to monitor the balloon as it made its way across the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Defense just released this photo of the Chinese government spy balloon that was taken by the pilot of a U-2 spy plane. pic.twitter.com/gxXn4RiZTO
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 22, 2023
Once Biden finally chose to give the order to take down the balloon as it made it to the Atlantic Ocean, the U.S. military made use of a single air-to-air AIM-9X Sidewinder missile fired from an F-22 Raptor to destroy the object.
As the Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), Glen David VanHerck stated that the balloon was close to 200 feet tall and came in at a weight “in excess of a couple thousand pounds.”
In the wake of the spy balloon being taken down, the U.S. quickly took down a total of three other unidentified objects over Alaska, Lake Huron, and Canada.
“It is also common for U.S. balloons to illegally enter the airspace of other countries,” expressed Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, with absolutely zero evidence. “Since last year, U.S. high-altitude balloons have illegally flown over China’s airspace more than 10 times without the approval of Chinese authorities.”
Adrienne Watson, the spokesperson for the National Security Council, expressed that the claims from the communist nation were just outright lies and that China was just trying to deflect the highly embarrassing outcome of the situation that they caused.
“It is China that has a high-altitude surveillance balloon program for intelligence collection, connected to the People’s Liberation Army, that it has used to violate the sovereignty of the United States and over 40 countries across five continents,” stated Watson in a social media post.
“This is the latest example of China scrambling to do damage control,” she concluded. “It has repeatedly and wrongly claimed the surveillance balloon it sent over the United States was a weather balloon and to this day has failed to offer any credible explanations for its intrusion into our airspace and the airspace of others.”