MOSCOW—China tried to electronically jam drone flights of the United States military over the disputed South China Sea in order to prevent surveillance on man-made islands Beijing is constructing as a part of its land reclamation initiative, U.S. officials said.
US officials announced the attempt as US Vice President Joe Biden criticized China for unilaterally claiming disputed islands in the South China Sea through massive reclamation work despite international objections.
“We do unapologetically stand up for the equitable and peaceful resolution of disputes and for the freedom of navigation,” Biden said at the graduation ceremony of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
“Today these principles are being tested by Chinese activities in the South China Sea,” Biden said.
At the same time, the conservative American online portal Washington Free Beacon claimed Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones were targeted by jamming in at least one incident near the Spratly Islands, where China is building military facilities on Fiery Cross Reef (or Kagitingan Reef).
The jamming of the Global Hawk drones was revealed after the Chinese navy warned a US Orion surveillance plane on Thursday to leave the same area eight times in an apparent effort to establish and enforce a no-fly zone, a demand Washington rejected.
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