Usa: “As a Chinese fighter maneuvers unnecessarily aggressive”. Beijing: “US reconnaissance plane was in our training area”
A Chinese fighter pilot performed an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” near a US surveillance aircraft which operated on the South China Sea last week. This was announced by the US military. The incident comes at a time of already high tensions between Washington and Beijing over issues involving Taiwan and an alleged Chinese spy balloon that was shot down after crossing the United States earlier this year.
The Chinese aircraft “flew directly in front of and within 400 feet of the nose of the RC-135 on Friday, forcing the US aircraft into turbulence in its wake,” the US Indo-Pacific Command (IndoPaCom) said in a statement. ). “The RC-135 was conducting safe and routine operations over the South China Sea in international airspace, in accordance with international law,” the command added.
Video footage shows a fighter plane crossing the gap in front of the American plane, which can be seen shaking due to the turbulence it produces. There has been an “alarming increase in the number of risky aerial interceptions and sea engagements” by Chinese aircraft and vessels, a senior US defense official said, actions that “have the potential to create a dangerous accident or miscalculation We do not believe it is done by pilots operating independently,” the official added. “We believe it’s part of a larger pattern.”
Beijing points the finger at the United States. According to the military of the Asian giant, the American military aircraft involved last Friday in the episode reported by the US in the skies over the South China Sea he had “cracked” into a military training area. “On Friday during a routine ‘Chinese Navy’ exercise in the South China Sea a US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft deliberately entered our training area for reconnaissance and jamming operations,” said Colonel Zhang Nandong, spokesman of the People’s Liberation Army Southern Theater Command. And China, he said according to reports from the Global Times, has “organized air forces to track and monitor” the aircraft “in compliance with the laws and regulations”.
“The provocative and dangerous moves of the United States are at the origin of maritime security issues”, said the spokesman for the Beijing Foreign Ministry, Mao Ning, in statements relaunched by CNN. The People’s Republic”calls on the US to put an end to these dangerous provocations” and assures that “it will continue to take the necessary measures to firmly protect its sovereignty and security”.
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— US Indo-Pacific Command (@INDOPACOM) May 30, 2023