China Sends U.S. Navy Stark Warning
The US Navy P-8A Poseidon jet was flying at 16,500 feet to get a view of low-lying coral reefs that have been turned into garrisons with five-storey buildings, large radar installations, power plants and runways sturdy enough to carry large military aircraft.
During the flight that was giving journalists from CNN a rare look at the islands, the crew was warned six times by the Chinese military to get out of their territory.
A voice said: “US military aircraft, this is China ... leave immediately and keep out to avoid any misunderstanding.”
Each time the aircraft was challenged by the Chinese military, the US Navy crew's response was the same.
The response was "I am a sovereign immune United States naval aircraft conducting lawful military activities beyond the national airspace of any coastal state.
"In exercising these rights as guaranteed by international law, I am operating with due regard for the rights and duties of all states."
The flight intended to show CNN's journalists how the Chinese government is rapidly militarizing in the South China Sea.