TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Radio broadcasts reveal China accused U.S. military helicopters of violating its "territorial airspace" 12 nautical miles from its coast on Sunday and Monday (Aug. 28-29), while a Japanese military aircraft was warned for coming too close to China's airspace.
According to radio broadcasts detected by military enthusiast Facebook page Taiwan ADIZ, a U.S. military aircraft neared the east coast of China from the Taiwan Strait at 8:14 a.m., and received warnings in Mandarin and English, with the latter stating "I am the Chinese Air Force, you are approaching my airspace, leave immediately, or I will intercept." At 8:38 a.m., the pilot of the U.S. aircraft could be heard saying: "I am a United States military aircraft conducting lawful military activities in international airspace and exercising these rights as guaranteed by international law. I am operating with due regard to the rights and duties of all states."
After both sides repeated the same message over the subsequent hour, the PLA Air Force broadcaster at 10:32 a.m. could be heard saying in Mandarin and English: "This is the Chinese PLA Air Force, you have entered China's territorial airspace, a serious violation of China's sovereignty, leave immediately, leave immediately!"
At around 10 a.m. on Monday, the PLA was again overhead warning a U.S. military plane that it was approaching Chinese airspace and to immediately leave. The U.S. aircraft continued on its course and again was warned that it had entered "China's territorial airspace" and to leave immediately.
According to Taiwan ADIZ, Chinese warplanes intercepted the U.S. military aircraft on both Sunday and Monday, and the latter eventually left Chinese airspace. A representative of Taiwan ADIZ told Taiwan News that on Sunday, there was one instance in which a U.S. Navy Sikorsky MH-60 Seahawk helicopter flew inside the 12-nautical mile boundary of China's territorial sea.
Taiwan ADIZ claimed that on Monday, there were two instances of MH-60 Seahawks entering China's 12-nautical mile boundary. In addition, the representative said that on Tuesday (Aug. 30), Japanese military aircraft were warned by the PLA that they were coming close to China's territorial airspace.
The MH-60 Seahawks are likely from the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers, the USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), which entered the Taiwan Strait on Sunday. Both warships carry two Sikorsky SH-60B or MH-60R Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.