Australia has stepped up military surveillance flights over the South China Sea in a signal to Beijing that it means to continue operating in the regional flashpoint area despite heightened tensions provoked by territorial disputes.

In a move that is likely to grate with the Chinese government, an RAAF P-3 Orion aircraft carried out patrols in the air space in recent weeks, prompting a demand from Chinese naval forces in the waters below to explain itself.

Defence confirmed the recent flight, though only after the plane’s presence happened to be noticed by a BBC journalist in the area, who recorded an Australian crewman telling the Chinese navy that the plane was “exercising international freedom of navigation rights”.

While such surveillance flights have been conducted for years in the South China Sea under Operation Gateway, their tempo has been increased in the past 12 to 18 months, it is understood.

Read more


NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

Get the latest breaking news & specials from Alex Jones and the Infowars Crew.

Related Articles


Comments