On board a US Navy P-8A Poseidon jet, CNN received a view from 16,500 feet of low-lying coral reefs, converted into five-storey garrisons, large radar installations, power plants and landing lanes that were stable enough to carry large military aircraft  During the flight, the crew received six separate warnings from the Chinese military and told them that they were in Chinese territory and urged them to leave.
"US military aircraft, this is China … leave immediately and stop to avoid misunderstandings," said one voice.
The American Navy jet flew over four key-shaped islands in the Spratly chain where China has built fortifications: Subi Reef, Fiery Cross Reef, Johnson Reef and Mischief Reef.
On the Subi Reef, Poseidon sensors picked up 86 ships, including Chinese coastguards, moored in a giant lagoon, while on the Fiery Cross Reef rows of bellows stood next to a long runway.
"It was astonishing to see airports in the middle of the ocean," says Lt. Lauren Callen, who led flight crews on board aviation.
Every time the aircraft was challenged by the Chinese military, the US Navy crew was the answer the same.
"I'm a superb immune US naval aircraft that performs legitimate military operations beyond the national airspace of any coastal state," replied the answer. "
" In exercising these rights under international law, I work with due regard to all states' rights and obligations. "
Competitive Patent Claims
Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei claims that all overlapping parts of the sea extend over 3.6 million square kilometers (1.4 million square kilometers), but the most far-reaching claims have been made by China.
Beijing's "nine points" extend over a thousand kilometers from the southernmost province and takes more or less the entire water through which the United Nations estimates one third of global freight rates.
The South China Sea is also believed to contain rich oil and natural gas reserves that have not yet been fully investigated.
Beijing's sovereignty claims considered by most other countries as an overreaction, and a significant part became illegal by an inmate Ternational Court 2016.
Despite this, however, a little has changed in China's attitude towards the region in recent years.
In order to strengthen its sovereignty commitments, Beijing has restored land on and around reefs and shoots to build artificial islands that are then militarized with airfields and radar accessories.
China has spent a lot of the last two years strengthening these islands, including placing missiles on the Spratly Island chain during naval exercises in April.
This despite a promise made by President Xi Jinping to then US President Barack Obama 2015 that the Chinese government would not militarize the artificial islands. 19659024] US Navy P8-A Poseidon planet carrying a CNN crew from Okinawa, Japan, across the South China Sea on August 10th. "data-src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810152337-p8-a-poseidon-us-navy-small-169.jpg "data-src-xsmall =" // cdn .cnn.com / cnnnext / dam / assets / 180810152337-p8-a-poseidon-us-navy-medium-plus-169.jpg "data-src-small =" http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/ dam / assets / 180810152337-p8-a-poseidon-us-navy-large-169.jpg "data-src-medium =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810152337-p8-a-poseidon -us-navy-exlarge-169.jpg "data-src-large =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810152337-p8-a-poseidon-us-navy-super-169.jpg " data-src-full16x9 = "// cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810152337-p8-a-poseidon-us-navy-full-169.jpg" data-src-mini1x1 = "// cdn. cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180810152337-p8-a-poseidon-us-navy-small-11.jpg "data-demand-load =" not-loaded "data-eq-pts =" mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781 "src =" data: image / gif; base64, R01GODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP /////// wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAAAAAAAAIKII + py + 0Po5yUFQA7 "/>
China claims US spark spark militarization
Beijing says its growing military presence in the South China Sea is necessary to protect its sovereignty, obscuring Washington and its allies for tensions in the region.
Tensions build in the South China Sea
January 17, 2018
Destroyer USS Hopper sails near Scarborough Shoal, north of Spratlysen, which provokes a tough response from China
March 23, 2018
Another Destroyer, USS Mustin, sailing near Mischief Reef in Spratlys, China announces that it will keep live fire drills.
April 12, 2018
China's President Xi Jinping holds a massive sea paradise in the South China Sea, the largest in the country's history.
April 24, 2018
Flying out of Guam, US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers execute a training mission across the South China Sea.
May 18, 2018
China landes long-distance bombs on Woody Island in the Paracles for the first time.
May 27, 2018
Two US naval vessels sail within 12 miles of four isles in the Paracel chain, days after uninviting China from 2018 RIMPAC naval drills.
June 5, 2018
US bombers B-52 fly over Spratlys again, as US defense minister James Mattis accuses Beijing of "intimidation and force"
Source: CNN reporting
Chinese military exercises in April included the largest the shore of the country's history, with President Xi Jinping who supervised exercises that included 10,000 troops, 48 navy vessels and 76 hunting aircraft.
Beijing points to the usual American navy patrols and abundance of the South China Sea as an example of Americans militarization and provocations, and a motivation for the increased Chinese military presence.
"By playing the so-called China's militarization in the South China Sea, some people in the United States have stationed a fool of a thief crying" stop thief ", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said in May." It is obvious that is a moment as who militarizes the South China Sea. "
During the past year, the United States has intensified the freedom to navigate in the region and sails US shipping within miles of China's artificial islands across the South China Sea.
Exercises, which the United States also performs in other parts of the world claim the fleet's right to travel wherever it thrives in international waters, an important part of Washington's naval power all over the world.
The time may run out to effectively challenge China's claims in the South China Sea dock.
Admiral Philip Davidson , the newly-installed head of the US Pacific Command, told the senators during a confirmation hearing in April that China is already mine cket strongly rooted.
"China can now control the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war against the United States," said Davidson.