U.S. accuses Chinese warrior rush of ‘unnecessarily bold scheme’ in South China Sea

June 1, 2023: The United States has charged a Chinese fighter rush with engaging in an “unnecessarily aggressive scheme” while intercepting a U.S. military surveillance aircraft in global airspace regarding the South China Sea.

It is recent in a series of flashpoints in the highly contested territory that China claims as its own.

The Chinese J-16 fighter jet cut in front of the nose of the U.S. Air Force RC-135 aircraft, “forcing the U.S. aircraft to fly through its wake turbulence,” said the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in a statement.

The U.S. aircraft was conducting “safe and routine operations regarding the South China Sea in international airspace, by international law,” according to the statement.

The incident occurred on Saturday, and a video recording was posted on the Twitter account of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The South China Sea has been a huge flashpoint in the Asia-Pacific in the last decade as China grew more assertive with its burgeoning economic clout bolstering its global influence.

As part of its power projection, China claims maritime jurisdiction over the strategic waterway rich with resources such as oil and gas.

Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam have competing claims to parts of the waterway, a vital trade route.

Connections between China and the U.S. were further strained in August after then-U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan – the self-governing island China also claims its own. Despite China’s warning to the U.S. to abide by the “One China” principle, she was the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit.

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U.S. accuses Chinese warrior rush of ‘unnecessarily bold scheme’ in South China Sea