‘The US military has announced that a Chinese warplane was conducting a “dangerous intercept” over an American Navy aircraft off the coast of China.
The Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said on Friday that Washington has used diplomatic channels to formally protest the Aug. 19 action of the Chinese military.
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He described the fighter jet doing a barrel roll over the American plane as “aggressive and demonstrated a lack of due regard for the safety and well-being of the US and Chinese aircrews and aircraft.”
Pentagon says that a US Navy P-8 Poseidon patrol jet was flying a routine mission east of Hainan Island Tuesday when a Chinese J-11 warplane passed directly beneath the plane three times, coming as close as 50-100 feet.
The Chinese jet then came from beneath, passing the US plane at 90 degrees with the belly of the plane — and its weapons payload — on display.
Finally, the Chinese jet came within 20 feet of the US plane before doing a barrel roll over the plane, the Pentagon official said.
“This incident is the most recent in a rising trend of nonstandard, unprofessional and unsafe intercepts of US aircraft that we have observed since the end of 2013,” Kirby said, calling it “one of the most unsafe intercepts since the 2001 EP-3 collision,” in reference to an incident in which a Chinese fighter and American aircraft collided in the same area as this week’s incident.
Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, also called the intercept “a deeply concerning provocation.”
Tensions have been running high between the US and China over a range of issues including Taiwan in the past couple of years.
China accuses the US of interfering in regional affairs including the dispute over Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory.’
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