Chinese Think Tank Accuses US Air Force of Trolling Country’s Military During Reconnaissance Flight
The incident, which occurred on Monday, comes more than a week after US warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait, which prompted accusations of undermining peace and stability from China.
A Chinese think tank has accused the US Air Force of trolling the country’s military while conducting reconnaissance missions
off north-eastern China. According to the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), which tracks the movement of US forces and those of its allies in nearby skies and waters, a Boeing RC-135 flew within 26 nautical miles of China’s coastline.
However, the think tank’s statement posted on social media hinted that the reconnaissance flight itself was not a cause for concern, but rather the plane’s call sign, which was "Junky81".
The Chinese numbers 8 and 1 appear on the flag of the People’s Liberation Army. The numbers also refer to the start of the Nanchang Uprising, which has since been celebrated as China’s Army Day on 1 August.
The call sign is apparently a reference to a newly introduced amendment
in China, which requires foreign vessels to report their call sign, destination, and information on cargo when passing through its "territorial sea".
Tensions have been running high between the two nations, with China repeatedly accusing the United States of violating its airspace. The two sides disagree on a number of issues, ranging from security, territorial disputes, and the coronavirus pandemic.