Tags: evasive | chinese | fighters

Evasive Moves for Chinese Fighters Not China's Problem?

Image: Evasive Moves for Chinese Fighters Not China's Problem?

Chinese J-10 fighter jets in formation. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 Jul 2017 11:46 AM

Evasive moves by a U.S. plane to avoid Chinese fighters were brought on by insistent and dangerous "close-in reconnaissance by U.S. aircraft,” China suggested in pushing back on the Pentagon’s complaint about how the Navy plane was intercepted Sunday morning over the East China Sea.

Lt. Col. Chris Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, said a U.S. Navy EP-3 was flying in international air space when it was approached by two Chinese J-10 fighter jets. One of the Chinese jets flew under the U.S. plane, "causing our aircraft to veer off and change course," The Hill quoted Logan as saying.

Pentagon officials said the incident happened 80 nautical miles from Qingdao, China with Chinese jets coming within 300 feet of the Navy surveillance, and called it "unsafe," Reuters reported.

The Chinese defense ministry countered by saying its pilots' actions were "legal, necessary and professional" and "in accordance with the law and the rules."

"Close-in reconnaissance by U.S. aircraft threatens China's national security, harms Sino-U.S. maritime and air military safety, endangers the personal safety of both sides' pilots and is the root cause of unexpected incidents," Chinese officials said, per Reuters.

CNN reported that the incident came just days after Adm. John Richardson, the chief of Naval Operations, held a video teleconference with his Chinese counterpart, Vice Adm. Shen Jinlong, to talk about "naval engagements" along with North Korea.

The Hill said the incident was just the latest of increasing interactions between U.S. and Chinese military jets. Two Chinese jets intercepted a U.S. Navy surveillance plane near Hong Kong, with one coming within 200 yards of the American plane in May.

In another May incident, The Hill said, two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. radiation-detecting plane over the East China Sea. China had declared an Air Defense Identification Zone over much of the East China Sea, but the U.S. does not recognize it, The Hill noted.

CNN noted that China was planning on holding exercises with the Russian Navy in the Baltic Sea, its first ever joint operation by the two militaries in European waters.

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Evasive moves by a U.S. plane to avoid Chinese fighters were brought on by insistent and dangerous "close-in reconnaissance by U.S. aircraft,” China suggested in pushing back on the Pentagon’s complaint about how the Navy plane was intercepted Sunday morning over the East China Sea.
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2017-46-26
Wednesday, 26 Jul 2017 11:46 AM
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