skip to main content

PLA aircraft crashes into the South China Sea

An unidentified People's Liberation Army's (PLA's) military aircraft crashed into the South China Sea in early March, Taiwan's National Security Bureau (NSB) Director-General Chen Ming-tong said on 10 March.

Speaking at a session of the Foreign and National Defense Committee of the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan's Parliament), Chen confirmed that a PLA aircraft crashed in early March in the South China Sea and that China issued a no-navigation zone in adjacent waters to conduct search and rescue (SAR) operations disguised as military training activities near the so-called ‘9-dash-line' area.

Chen added that, while the attention of the international community is now focused on the conflict in Ukraine, China is exploiting the circumstances to “test the limits of the US and other claimant states in the South China Sea” while it seeks to expand its control over disputed waters.

The exact date and location of the incident and the aircraft type involved are unknown, while China has not acknowledged the event as yet.

However, news of the crash comes as China announced it will conduct military drills off the coast of Vietnam between 5 and 15 March. The Hainan Maritime Safety Administration announced on 5 March that military exercises will take place between Sanya, in the southern province of Hainan and home to a People's Liberation Army Navy base, and Vietnam's city of Hue.

China routinely carries out military drills in disputed areas of the South China Sea. However, Janes believes that the recently announced exercises could be used to conduct additional SAR operations to recover the wreckage of the aircraft lost.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...