Chinese jet ‘flies upside down’ over US spy plane

Al Jareeza

Fighter jets carry out what US describes as ‘unprofessional’ intercept of radiation detection plane over East China Sea.

The Chinese jets intercepted the US aircraft in international airspace, US officials said [File: Gregorio Marrero/AP]

Two Chinese fighter jets have carried out what the US military described as an “unprofessional” intercept of a US aircraft designed to detect radiation while it was flying over the East China Sea.

US officials told CNN that one of the Sukhoi Su-30 jets that approached the WC-135 plane on Wednesday was flying upside down, coming as close as 46 metres.

“The issue is being addressed with China through appropriate diplomatic and military channels,” air force spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Lori Hodge said on Thursday.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying declined to comment on the specific incident and referred questions to the defence ministry which has yet to comment.

“For a long time US ships and aircraft have been carrying out close up surveillance of China which can really easily cause misunderstandings or misjudgments or cause unexpected incidents at sea or in the air,” she told the Reuters news agency.

“We hope that the US side can respect China’s reasonable security concerns.”

READ MORE: US slams China over spy plane ‘provocation’ (2014)

US television network NBC reported that the US aircraft was conducting a routine mission in international airspace when it was intercepted over the East China Sea.

The WC-135 is a so-called “sniffer plane” designed to scan the atmosphere for signs of nuclear activity.

US broadcaster NBC said the WC-135’s crew described the encounter as “unprofessional”, although not necessarily dangerous.

It said military officials insist the US plane was operating in accordance with international law.

A similar incident occurred in 2014, when then-President Barack Obama said that Chinese fighter jets conducted an “unprofessional” intercept of a US navy spy plane in international airspace over the South China Sea.

Washington and Beijing have differing views about the legality of US military overflights in much of the region, a result of differing interpretations of rights conveyed under the Law of the Sea treaty.

In April 2001, another intercept of a US EP-3E spy plane by a Chinese F-8 fighter in the same area resulted in a collision that killed the Chinese pilot and forced the US plane to make an emergency landing at a base on Hainan.

The 24 US crew members were held for 11 days until Washington apologised for the incident, which soured US-Chinese relations in the early days of President George W Bush’s first administration.

The US and Chinese militaries have boosted their contacts in recent years amid recognition that – as China’s economic interests continue to expand – it will play a bigger security role in the world and have more interactions with the US military.

But even as US and Chinese military contacts have increased, tensions between China and its neighbours, some of them US treaty allies, have heightened over competing territorial claims in the South China and East China seas.

Source: News agencies

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This entry was posted in Biển Đông (SCS), US - China relationship - Liên hệ Mỹ Trung and tagged , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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