WASHINGTON – Two Chinese aircraft carried out an unprofessional intercept of a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft over the South china Sea, the Pentagon said Friday, marking the second time in a week that the USA has complained about unsafe Chinese activities in the region.
A defence official said one of the Chinese J-10 fighter jets flew about 200 feet in front of the AMERICAN P-3 aircraft and approximately 100 metres above the doing slow turns. The second Chinese fighter, stayed at approximately 750 meters from the P-3’s right wing. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Navy Cdr. Gary Ross said the Navy P-3 Orion was operating in international airspace. He said that the US is reviewing the incident and will convey concerns to the Chinese.
Last week, US defence officials said that two Chinese SU-30 jets carried out an unprofessional intercept of a U.s. radiation-sniffing surveillance aircraft in the East china Sea.
Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Lt.-Col. Lori Hodge said at the time that the Chinese planes approached a WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft — a modified Boeing C-135 — conducting a routine mission in international airspace in accordance with international law.
The WC-135 crew features the intercept as unprofessional “by the actions of the Chinese pilot, as well as the speed and the close proximity of both the aircraft,” Hodge said.
China rejected AMERICAN accusations over last week’s interception, says its aircraft carried out a safe and professional operation.
Defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian said the Us plane was conducting surveillance over the Yellow Sea — the northern part of the East china Sea — and that the Chinese fighter jets moved to identify and verify the aircraft “in accordance with the law and regulations.”
In a separate incident this week, China protested a US Navy patrol, which a guided missile destroyer in the vicinity of a group of artificial islands in the South china Sea, the first American challenge to Beijing’s claims on the water since President Donald Trump take office.
China’s Ministry of Defense told reporters that he had sought for a declaration with the U.S. government about the Thursday incident, which Beijing said involved the USS Dewey, and took place around Mischief Reef, one of a chain of artificial islands, China has built and reinforced a confirmation of the claims made about the strategic waterway.