A Chinese language fighter jet flew dangerously shut – inside six meters of a a lot bigger US Air Pressure surveillance plane over the South China Sea, the US navy mentioned on Thursday (native time).
A Chinese language Navy J-11 fighter pilot “carried out an unsafe maneuver throughout an interception of a US Air Pressure RC-135 plane,” the US Indo-Pacific Command mentioned in a press release.
The Chinese language pilot flew in entrance of and inside six meters of the US aircraft’s nostril on Dec. 21 and “compelled the RC-135 to make evasive maneuvers to keep away from a collision,” it mentioned.
The RC-135 “lawfully carried out routine operations over the South China Sea in worldwide airspace,” the US command mentioned.
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The incident got here as China despatched ever-larger teams of warplanes throughout the ocean to Taiwan in a present of drive, whereas Beijing reasserted its declare to sovereignty over the US-backed, self-governing island.
Final weekend, China flew 71 warplanes, together with dozens of warplanes, in navy workout routines round Taiwan, one of many largest such operations since Beijing started deploying navy plane to Taiwan’s air protection identification zone.
The Folks’s Liberation Military mentioned it held a “strike train” Sunday in response to unspecified “provocations” and “collusion” between the US and Taiwan.
There have been greater than 1,700 such raids to date this 12 months, in comparison with 969 in 2021, in accordance with an AFP database.
Taiwan’s Protection Ministry mentioned it recorded round 380 raids in 2020.
The US has supplied important navy help and superior know-how to Taiwan to defend towards a potential Chinese language invasion.
Washington has additionally angered Beijing by refusing to just accept its disputed claims to quite a few small islands within the South China Sea, islands mendacity in waters claimed by different Southeast Asian international locations.
Initially launched as US, Chinese language jets in shut encounter over South China Sea