Washington, May 30 (EFE).- A Chinese fighter plane carried out an “unnecessarily aggressive” maneuver to intercept a US reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday.
The command of the US armed forces responsible for the Indo-Pacific region posted a statement on Twitter along with a video showing a Chinese aircraft, a J-16, flying in the vicinity of the US plane, an RC-135, which is usually used for electronic surveillance, and make what it described as an “unprofessional intercept.”
The incident occurred on May 26 when the Chinese pilot “flew directly in front of the nose of the RC-135, forcing the US aircraft to fly through its wake turbulence,” the statement said.
The US said its plane “was conducting safe and routine operations over the South China Sea in international airspace, in accordance with international law.”
“The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate – safely and responsibly – wherever international law allows,” the statement said.
“We expect all countries in the Indo-Pacific region to use international airspace safely and in accordance with international law,” it added.
Tensions between the US and China soared after the North American country detected a suspected Chinese spy balloon over its territory at the end of January and shot it down over the Atlantic on Feb. 4.
On Monday, the Pentagon announced that China had rejected a US proposal for a face-to-face meeting this week between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart, Li Shangfu, on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. EFE