Tensions between the two superpowers have been steadily rising over the past few years, as China seeks to consolidate its control and hegemony over the disputed waters.
The US has beefed up its military presence and activities in the region, in an attempt to counter Beijing’s increasingly aggressive posturing. This has involved both more frequent freedom of navigation patrols, along with aerial reconnaissance missions.
Last May, a squadron of SU-30 fighter jets led by ace pilot Lu Geng scrambled to intercept foreign military aircraft that were approaching Chinese airspace.
In radio communications aired in the CCTV report, pilot Lu can be heard issuing stern warnings to the foreign pilots in both English and Chinese.
“This is the PLA Air Force,” he barked.
“You are about to enter Chinese airspace. Leave immediately!”