A Chinese fighter jet came dangerously close to a U.S. Navy patrol jet in international airspace earlier this week, which the Pentagon has criticised as “unsafe and unprofessional” conduct.
On Aug. 19, an armed Chinese J-11 fighter jet intercepted a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft about 135 miles east of Hainan island — the home of a sensitive Chinese submarine base. The Chinese aircraft moved over and under the U.S. aircraft at very close range.
“The Chinese jet also passed the nose of the P-8 at 90 degrees with its belly toward the P-8 Poseidon, we believe to make a point of showing its weapons load-out,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said. The Chinese fighter then did a roll over the P-8 within 45 feet, Kirby added.
Kirby told members of the press that the United States had “very strongly” lodged a formal diplomatic complaint to the Chinese government.
“This kind of behaviour, not only is unprofessional, it’s unsafe,” Kirby continued, “and it is certainly not keeping with the kind of military-to-military … relations that we’d like to have with China.”
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