The Australian military has come under figurative fire from a Chinese state-owned newspaper after one of their planes flew over the much fought over South China Sea, in what experts believe was a move to challenge China’s claim over the region.
China’s response might be likened to an animal marking their own territory by growling really loud at passersby.
It was a Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion aircraft that dared to pass through the controversial “nine-dash line” area purportedly as part of the Department of Defense’s observational maintenance patrol to ensure the sea was doing okay.
Here’s what the Australian pilot transmitted to the Chinese navy via radio communications:
China Navy, China Navy, we are an Australian aircraft exercising international freedom of navigation rights, in international airspace in accordance with the international civil aviation convention, and the United nations Convention of the law of the sea — over.
But enraged by the apparent trespassing, China issued a mob-esque warning via the state-run Global Times: “It would be a shame if a plane fell from the sky and it happened to be Australian.”
The editorial also emphasized that China these days has “less patience to prevent a flare up” — in case that wasn’t already clear enough.
However, strategic expert Benjamin Schreer of Macquarie University has suggested the response may not necessarily have been total paranoia, insofar as the Australian military emphasizing its right to access that area “really takes place in a changing strategic and political context.”
Chinese ground controllers have had to deal with all sorts of Western stranger bitches in their crib of late, with a much-hyped American patrol in October ending in an adorable maritime bromance.
By Pinky Latt
[Image via Flickr]