CNN broadcast an exclusive report, as one of its reporters hitched a ride on a U.S. Navy P-8 patrol aircraft overflying the artificial islands the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is building in the South China Sea. The Chinese repeatedly tried to warn off the aircraft, in English language broadcasts that CNN included in its report.
The report confirms that the Chinese are trying to establish sovereignty claims over these areas of the South China Sea by building major artificial islands atop reefs (which, by themselves, establish no territorial claims).
But what is surprising is that the U.S. Navy plane is being warned by “the Chinese navy.” Past encounters have typically involved Chinese civilian law enforcement vessels and civilian fishing boats. But the American aircraft was warned off by the Chinese military, making clear that these islands are currently under the jurisdiction and control of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). In short, Beijing has deployed military forces to these new, artificial islands, and has therefore already militarized these disputes.
Full article: China Military Moves into South China Sea Dispute, Solidifying China’s New Area Grab (The Daily Signal)