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US-China tensions: USAF spy plane disguises itself as a Philippine aircraft over Yellow Sea, monitor says

A US Air Force (USAF) plane changed its aircraft identification code as it flew over the Yellow Sea on Tuesday – making it appear like a Philippine aircraft, according to the Beijing-based South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI).

Aircraft movement monitoring agency Aircraft Spots made a similar observation on Twitter, saying the plane responded with a different hex code when over the Yellow Sea between the Chinese coast and the Korean peninsula.

Hex codes are assigned by the International Civil Aviation Organisation to all aircraft as a means of identifying them. Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

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