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article imageUS disguises spy planes as airliners near Chinese territory

By Ken Hanly     Sep 19, 2020 in Politics
China has accused the US of disguising military planes in proximity to the Chinese coast while disguising them as civilian airliners by changing the planes' transponder codes at least 100 times this year.
US moves come as tensions increase between US and China
Heightened tensions between the two countries come as the US increases military activity in the Indo-Pacific.
Report from a Chinese think tank
The South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI) reports that it has recorded instances of the US cloaking its spy planes as civilian airliners. The SCSPI claims that between September 8th and 10th US spy planes disguised as Malaysia civilian planes flew over the disputed Paracel Islands located in the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait, and the Yellow Sea near the Chinese coast.
The SCSPI warned that the US practice increases the danger to actual civilian aircraft in the region, with the risk that they will be misidentified. The report said: “This undoubtedly added up to great risk and uncertainty to international flight safety, which could lead to misjudgment (by ground air defence systems) and probably bring danger to civilian aircraft especially those being impersonated." The SCSPI also noted that the US carried out the practice of changing transponder numbers near Venezuela and Iran.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Statement
Wang Werbin, a spokesperson
for the Chinese Foreign Ministray said: “It’s a common trick for the US Air Force to impersonate the transponder code of civilian aircraft from other countries … It is of a vile nature. We urge the US to immediately stop such dangerous provocations, to avoid accidents from happening in the sea and air.”
Soviets shoot down a Korean plane
Back in 1983 a tragic misidentification happened when Korean Airlines flight 007 was shot down by the Soviet Union Air Force killing all 269 passengers and crew on board. The civilian airliner was mistaken for an RC-135 US spy plane which crossed the 007 flight path within Soviet air space.
More about US China relations, US spy planes, Tensions between US and China
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