Chinese Military Using Jamming Against U.S. Drones

A U.S. Global Hawk surveillance drone lands at the Misawa Air Base in Japan / AP

China tried to electronically jam U.S. drone flights over the South China Sea in a bid to thwart spying on disputed island military construction, U.S. officials said. Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones were targeted by the jamming in at least one incident near the disputed Spratly Islands, where China is building military facilities on Fiery Cross Reef.

Pentagon Building Up Forces, Alliances in South China Sea

This areal photo taken through a glass window of a military plane shows China's alleged on-going reclamation of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea Monday, May 11

In a major policy shift, the Pentagon declared Wednesday the United States will directly defend U.S. national security interests in the South China Sea against China’s expansive and illegal maritime claims.

David Shear, assistant defense secretary for Asia and Pacific affairs, told a Senate hearing that China’s claims over almost all the Southeast Asian sea are destabilizing and risking a regional conflict with states such as Vietnam, Philippines, and Malaysia that have also claimed disputed islands.