On Wednesday May 20, one of the US military’s advanced surveillance planes flew over the disputed South China Sea. The P8-A Poseidon was flying at its lowest point around 15,000 feet over artificial lands, according to CNN.

The Chinese navy reportedly gave out around 8 warnings to the surveillance aircraft to leave the place saying, “This is the Chinese navy… Please go away to avoid misunderstanding”. CNN crew was on board the plane at that time and report exasperation from the voice of the Chinese radio operator. The US pilots responded at some point that the aircraft is just flying over international airspace, to which the Chinese radio operator challenged, “This is the Chinese navy… You go!”

south chinaCaptain Mike Parer, the commander of the Asia-deployed US surveillance aircraft told CNN aboard the plane, “We were just challenged 30 minutes ago and the challenge came from the Chinese Navy.”

This recent incident has worried security experts, especially with the growing frequency of Chinese warnings to the Philippines as well. The warnings demand Philippine military aircraft to steer clear from the Spratly archipelago.

CNN aired a video footage that came from the P8-A showing military activity on Chinese-made islands, which validated experts’ suspicions. There were hives of constructions and Chinese navy ships patrolling the area. It seems to be that China is setting up a military exclusion zone in those islands.

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