The U.S. military said on Tuesday that a Chinese fighter jet made an “unnecessarily aggressive” maneuver near a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea, forcing the U.S. pilot to fly over the turbulent wake. .
“The Chinese J-16 fighter pilot flew directly in front of the RC-135, which was conducting routine operations in international airspace last Friday, the US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement, adding that the move was “unnecessarily aggressive maneuvering.
“The United States will continue to fly, navigate and operate – safely and responsibly – wherever international law permits,” the statement added.
Video showed a fighter jet streaking past the nose of the US aircraft and the cockpit of the RC-135 shaking in the turbulence.
In the past, China has said that the US sending ships and planes to the South China Sea is not good for peace.
Such interceptions occur occasionally. In December, a Chinese military aircraft approached within 3 meters of a US Air Force plane and forced it to perform evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision in international airspace.
The encounter followed what the United States called a recent trend of increasingly dangerous behavior by Chinese military aircraft.
The incident took place before China rejected a request by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to meet on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian Security Summit in Singapore this week.
A senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that since 2021, China has refused or failed to respond to more than a dozen requests for dialogue with the Pentagon.
Relations between China and the United States have been strained, with friction between the world’s two largest economies over everything from Taiwan and China’s human rights record to its military activity at sea. from southern China.
With contributions from agencies
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