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Chinese jet makes ‘unsafe’ intercept

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A Chinese fighter jet is said to have made an “unsafe” interception of a US spy plane that was on routine patrol on Tuesday in international airspace over the East China Sea, reports US Pacific Command in a report by Reuters.

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The intercept involved two Chinese J-10 fighter planes and a U.S. Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane, the report added.

One of the intercepting Chinese jets had an unsafe excessive rate of closure on the RC-135 aircraft. Initial assessment is that this seems to be a case of improper airmanship, as no other provocative or unsafe maneuvers occurred

Pacific Command said. The statement did not say how near the Chinese jet came to the US plane.

“The Department of Defense is addressing the issue with China in appropriate diplomatic and military channels,” Pacific Command added.

China’s Defense Ministry said it was looking into the matter. “Judging by the report, the U.S. side is again deliberately hyping up the issue of the close surveillance of China by U.S. military aircraft,” China stated to Reuters. “Chinese military pilots consistently carry out operations in accordance with the law and the rules, and are professional and responsible.”

Last May, the Pentagon said that two Chinese fighter jets flew within 50 feet (15 meters) of a US EP-3 aircraft over the South China Sea, which was determined to be a violation of an agreement signed by both countries last year. Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier this week that any establishment by China of an air defense zone over the South China Sea would be a “provocative and destabilizing act.”

The US has expressed concern that an upcoming international court ruling on a case brought forth by the Philippines against China over its South China Sea claims could trigger an air defense identification zone or ADIZ by Beijing, same thing it did over the East China Sea in 2013.

China has claimed most of the South China Sea. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei all have contesting claims to the area, which sees $5 trillion in ship passages annually.

The US has accused China of militarizing the South China Sea after creating artificial islands on it, while China has heavily criticized the increasing presence of the US Navy in Asia.

The previous unsafe intercept occurred just last month.

Here is another related video showing the actual intercept with the two planes flying parallel to each other…

 

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