An American bomber aircraft had a close encounter with a Chinese fighter jet, prompting anger from military officials.
On Tuesday, the Chinese Shenyang J-11 rapidly approached a US B-52 bomber over the South China Sea, coming within 10 feet of it, as reported by the US military on Thursday.
The plane harassed the B-52 briefly, flying close at “uncontrolled excessive speed, flying below, in front of, and within 10 feet of the B-52, putting both aircraft in danger of a collision,” according to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.
American military authorities expressed “concern” over the actions of the Chinese pilot, claiming China’s track record of similar maneuvers as a potential threat to regional peace.
“We are concerned this pilot was unaware of how close he came to causing a collision,” a military official told the press.
The airspace above the South China Sea holds strategic importance, and China has been working to establish dominance in the area while the U.S. and its allies conduct drills.
The Chinese Communist Party expressed frustration regarding the incident, accusing the U.S. of provoking through its extensive military presence.
Neither the United States nor China showed any willingness to back down in the face of the incident, with both parties releasing similar statements declaring their determination to maintain their regular operations.
“The U.S. will continue to fly, sail, and operate — safely and responsibly — wherever international laws allow,” the US military said.
“China will continue to take resolute measures to maintain its national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity,” Mao said.
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