This was another incident that added to the tension in the region when chinese fighter jets intercepted an American Spy Plane that was believed to be on a routine mission over the East China Sea. The American plane was in International Airspace by international law, and the United States has labeled it as an unprofessional intercept because it violated accepted norms of any such activity.

Reactions from the Chinese

New Zealand Herald reports that Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Lt Col Lori Hodge had narrated the incident of the interception when the American spy plane was in the international airspace over the East China Sea.

The Americans were carrying out the operation in accordance with international law, but the method of interception by the Chinese revealed a lack of professionalism.

As Lt Col Lori Hodge explained, the reasons for labeling the intercept as unprofessional were because of the nature of maneuvers that the pilots of the Chinese fighter jets carried out apart from the speed and proximity of both aircraft. She remarked that the matter would be taken up through the normally recognized communication channels between the two countries which are expected to help improve confidence building measures and avoid future misunderstandings.

China has blamed the American spy plane for entering the airspace over a so-called air defense identification zone that covers significant portions of the East China Sea.

China wants all foreign aircraft, which operate within the zone, to make known their intentions and also abide by the instructions of the Chinese. This zone was created in 2013, but the United States has not recognized it and has, in fact, categorized it as illegitimate.

The sanctity of a country’s airspace

Lori Hodge has clarified that it is a regular practice for military aircraft of the United States to pass through the international airspace over the Pacific, and it includes the East China Sea, and this particular flight was one of such flights.

It is natural for any country, especially the superpowers like America, Russia, and China to guard their airspaces because each of them has an agenda of its own related to its military installations, troop movements and other defense related matters. It wants to keep such installations as closely guarded secrets knowing fully well that if the secret leaks out, it would have an adverse effect on its preparedness.

Therefore, any foreign plane that enters its airspace is suspect because aerial surveillance coupled with capturing images of other territories will put the facilities at a disadvantage. This is why countries maintain a strict 24/7 vigil to guard their secrets.

The relation between America and China continues to be in a fluid state because China has a soft corner for North Korea while America leans towards South Korea. It is a tricky equation, and the result is instability in the Korean peninsula and portions of the China Sea which could aggravate the situation and lead to unwanted consequences. The countries will go to any length to protect their assets and interests and take necessary precautions to safeguard them.