US spy plane spotted in China impersonates Malaysian Aircraft
Published: 12:33 PM, 9 September 2020 Updated: 12:35 PM, 9 September 2020
A US spy plane was spotted seeming to disguise itself as a Malaysian aircraft as it “patrolled intensively” between China’s Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands, which Beijing claims as well, reports Russian news media Sputnik. The dangerous maneuver poses the risk of confusing civilian and military aircraft, which in the past has resulted in deadly airliner shootdowns.
According to the South China Sea Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a Chinese think tank connected to Peking University, a US Air Force RC-135W Rivet Joint signals intelligence spy plane was spotted departing Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa, Japan, on Tuesday, only to be mysteriously replaced by what seemed to be a Malaysian aircraft over the South China Sea.
Once the plane crossed the South China Sea, it then “patrolled intensively” over the international waters between Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands, the latter of which the US has challenged Beijing’s claims of sovereignty over, SCSPI said.