EDITORIAL - Is China testing us again?

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - Is China testing us again?

In what seemed like the beginning of an aviation action film, an unidentified aircraft was detected entering Philippine airspace last Thursday about 120 nautical miles northwest of Bolinao, Pangasinan.

In response, two Philippine Air Force FA-50 aircraft were sent to intercept the unidentified aircraft. A few minutes into the chase the unidentified aircraft turned and exited Philippine airspace on its own.

The PAF jets were able to return home without incident.

“In the past decades, aircraft flying without clearance would willfully violate the Philippine airspace knowing that they will not be challenged; today our airspace is being closely monitored jointly by the Philippine Air Force and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines,” the PAF said about the incident.

Because the aircraft was not identified we can only speculate about its origins or who sent it. But we can be forgiven if we think China was involved in that brief incursion into our territory.

How did we come to this speculation? First, so far no other nation has tested time and again our reaction to their frequent intrusions into our territory. They constantly do this with their boats, perhaps they now want to know how we react to their aircraft?

Second, so far there is no other nation that has military bases complete with runways, hangars, and air defense systems in the South China Sea with a range that also covers that area.

Considering that the unidentified aircraft was traveling at four times the fastest speed of a commercial airliner, we can only conclude that it was built for either subterfuge or war.

We may be mistaken of course, and China may have nothing to do with that incident at all. Our wildest imaginings might even have it to be a UFO. But the other day Taiwan scrambled its jets after 19 Chinese aircraft were detected in Taiwanese airspace.

The sortie was reportedly composed of an anti-submarine aircraft, 10 J-16 fighter jets, four Su-30 fighter jets, as well as four H-6 bombers, each of which can carry a nuclear payload.

A mere coincidence? Isn’t that too much?

Was this China testing our response and the response of other nations to an air intrusion?

If so, aside from a diplomatic response we should also be ready with a tactical one. Our national territory should be defended.

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