Date: DEC 16, 2015
By: Matthew Doran and China correspondent Bill Birtles
A Chinese state-owned newspaper has issued a strongly worded warning to
Australia about a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) surveillance plane carrying out “freedom of navigation” exercises over the South China Sea.
The editorial in the Chinese language edition of The Global Times appears to warn Australia its planes could be shot down if such operations continue.
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Audio: BBC audio: Australian pilot issues warning to Chinese Navy (ABC News)
It would be a shame if one day a plane fell from the sky and it happened to be Australian.
The Global Times
On Tuesday, the BBC broadcast audio of an Australian pilot alerting the Chinese Navy of its flight over the disputed Spratly Islands.
“China Navy, China Navy,” the voice said.
“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 on the Law of the Sea.”
The BBC said it recorded the message from a RAAF AP-3C Orion surveillance aircraft in the early afternoon on November 25.
According to the BBC, the message was repeated several times by the RAAF pilot, but no response was heard from the Chinese. [FULL STORY]