The US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) said in a statement on Tuesday that a Chinese fighter jet blasted a US reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea on Friday.
A J-16 fighter pilot made an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” while intercepting a US Air Force RC-135. Indopakom said. Footage released by the Pentagon shows a Chinese plane flying directly across the path of a U.S. military aircraft, flying at unspecified but very close range.
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“The RC-135 was conducting safe and routine operations in international airspace over the South China Sea in accordance with international law,” Indopacom said. “The United States will continue to fly, navigate and operate safely and responsibly wherever international law permits, and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Joint Command will continue to do so with due regard for the safety of all vessels and aircraft under its jurisdiction. , continue to fly in international airspace” international law. We expect all countries in the Indo-Pacific region to use international airspace safely in accordance with international law. ”
The incident is not the first close call between the United States and China in recent months. Similarly, in December, Chinese fighter jets flew dangerously close to US spy planes over the South China Sea. (Related: Xi is losing control of Chinese military’s harassment tactics, says US Navy Intel official)
Relations between the United States and China soured during President Joe Biden’s presidency, but Mr Biden said last week that he expected ties with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to be “soon to come to an end”. However, the Chinese Communist Party responded to the pope’s appointment by refusing an offer to meet with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.