[CNN, 21 May 2015.] In an exclusive by Jim Sciutto, CNN reports that China warns U.S. surveillance plane which was flying over the Spratly Islands.

An edited extract of the article is reproduced below.

Above the South China Sea (CNN) The Chinese navy issued warnings eight times as a U.S. surveillance plane on Wednesday swooped over islands that Beijing is using to extend its zone of influence.

The series of man-made islands and the massive Chinese military build-up on them have alarmed the Pentagon, which is carrying out the surveillance flights in order to make clear the U.S. does not recognize China’s territorial claims. The militarized islands have also alarmed America’s regional allies.

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell told CNN’s Erin Burnett Wednesday night that the confrontation indicates there is “absolutely” a risk of the U.S. and China going to war sometime in the future…

CNN was aboard the P8-A Poseidon, America’s most advanced surveillance and submarine-hunting aircraft, and quickly learned that the Chinese are themselves displeased by the U.S. pushback.

“This is the Chinese navy … This is the Chinese navy … Please go away … to avoid misunderstanding,” a voice in English crackled through the radio of the aircraft in which CNN was present…

The aircraft flew at 15,000 feet in the air at its lowest point, but the U.S. is considering flying such surveillance missions even closer over the islands, as well as sailing U.S. warships within miles of them, as part of the new, more robust U.S. military posture in the area…

Wednesday’s mission was specifically aimed at monitoring Chinese activities on three islands that months ago were reefs barely peaking above the waves. Now they are massive construction projects that the U.S. fears will soon be fully functioning military installations…

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