Two Chinese fighter jets conducted an “unsafe” intercept of a U.S. spy plane in international air space over the South China Sea on May 17.
Defense Department spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza said on May 18 that the U.S. maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft was flying in a “routine patrol” in international airspace when “two tactical aircraft from the People’s Republic of China” intercepted the military plane.
The 2 Chinese J-11s fighter jets flew approximately 50 feet from the U.S. aircraft, a Navy E-P3.
The Pentagon did not provide additional details about the incident. However, it came just days after the United States’ “freedom of navigation” naval operation near disputed islands controlled by China.