[Ed. – A 16-plane incursion by China is certainly egregious. Sixty miles off Sarawak, on Malaysian Borneo, would not be in Malaysian air space per se, but may well be in air space around an island claimed by Malaysia (don’t have time to look). In any case, the failure to check in with authorities in the Malaysian FIR – flight information region – appears to be the issue. This is the kind of thing that, if left to continue, conditions an entire region over time to tacitly submit to China, getting the job done without China having to go to hot lead.]
The foreign ministry of Malaysia has said it would summon China’s envoy to explain an “intrusion” by 16 air force planes into its airspace, after the south-east Asian country’s military detected “suspicious” activity over the South China Sea.
Malaysia’s air force said it scrambled jets on Monday after the planes flew within 60 nautical miles off Sarawak state of Malaysian Borneo. It described the incident as a “serious threat to national sovereignty and flight safety”.
The Chinese planes did not contact regional air traffic control despite being instructed to do so several times, the air force said.