OAN’s Noah Herring
12:54 PM – Wednesday, May 31, 2023
A Chinese fighter jet conducted an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” while intercepting an American surveillance plane over the South China Sea last week, U.S. military officials said in a statement.
The Chinese J-16 fighter pilot “flew directly in front of the nose of the RC-135,” causing the American pilot to fly through the turbulent wake. The RC-135 was conducting “safe and routine operations” while flying in international airspace, U.S. Indo-Pacific command claimed.
“The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate – safely and responsibly – wherever international law allows, and the US Indo-Pacific Joint Force will continue to fly in international airspace with due regard for the safety of all vessels and aircraft under international law,” said a statement from INDOPACOM.
According to Chinese military officials, a U.S. spy plane “deliberately intruded” into China’s training area.
China’s foreign ministry accused the U.S. of posing a “serious danger” to their nation by deploying aircraft for reconnaissance on China.
“The US’s provocative and dangerous moves are the root cause of maritime security issues. China urges the US to stop such dangerous provocations,” spokesperson Mao Ning said during a briefing in Beijing.
“China will continue to take necessary measures to resolutely defend its sovereignty and security,” she added.
Tensions between the Chinese and U.S. militaries have been high due to China rejecting a proposal for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to meet with his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu, Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan last August, and the U.S.’ move to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon.
On Wednesday, China’s Defense Ministry said that the country “attaches importance” to developing U.S.-China military relations and how there had been “no interruption” in contact, blaming Washington D.C. for the lack of communication.
A senior U.S. defense official said on Tuesday that the incident with China’s interception is being addressed “through appropriate, established diplomatic and military channels.”
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