Hear Chinese language warning to US airplane in midair over South China sea


Tensions are rising in one of the most hotly contested regions on the planet, the South China Sea, from militarized artificial islands to fighter jets and warplanes. China's.

Heavy presence in the disputed region is putting the US and its allies on notice. CNN got rare access aboard a U.S. Navy surveillance flight and saw firsthand some tense moments with China's military. Here's CNN's Ivan Watson.

This is a close encounter with a Chinese warplane filmed just off the wing of a U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane flying over the South China Sea. We're getting a close up look at a Chinese fighter jet. The air crew here identifies it as a shell.

11, a two seater that they say is armed with air to air missiles. And it's been shadowing this U.S. Navy, playing now for about 15 minutes. It is pretty remarkable to see this Chinese warplane operating at such close proximity just several hundred feet away from our aircraft.

I don't know how the Chinese fighter escort part of a regular routine. I'd say it's another Friday afternoon in the South China Sea. The U.S. Navy invited CNN to fly on a P-8 reconnaissance plane taking off from a U.S. air base on the Japanese.

Island of Okinawa at 300 on September six. Along the way, picking up fuel from a flying gas station. We're refueling in midair right now, flying just about 40 feet away from a KC one 35 tanker plane. The plane.

Is headed past the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, to the South China Sea, which China also claims almost all for itself, ignoring competing claims from countries like Vietnam and the Philippines. Some 30 miles from the Chinese occupied.

Paracel Islands. A Chinese voice crackles over the radio. American aircraft they think of the Air Force. You are approaching Chinese, offering a safe distance. In fact, that's when the Chinese people's Liberation Army fighter jet appears flying.

So close you can see the pilots in their cockpit, a fighter aircraft, and then on one, two, one, four, five, I I'll drop my left wing and I will continue to proceed to the west. The Chinese pilot never responds, but eventually leaves when the U.S.

Plane turns south. And its like oil spots as they build as they build on one reef and then build on another Commodore will tourists and shows the network of manmade islands China built on what had been coral reefs claimed by other countries.

Our number one focus here is to ensure that we have continued access alongside all of our allies and partners to international airspace and international waters. The U.S. presence here aimed at preventing further encroachment.

By China experts. The captain knows we're flying at a low altitude, a thousand feet, a little more than 300 meters above sea level east of Taiwan. Looking for a Chinese warship currently believed to be operating in these stormy waters.

The plane spots a Chinese guided missile destroyer. And we have our target very hard to call. Mean I'll be. I'm a United States military aircraft and our marionette, a cat and mouse game between two rival militaries.

In one of the most hotly contested regions in the world. Ivan Watson, CNN, over the South China Sea for.

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