21:28 GMT +311 December 2018
Listen Live
    F-18 jet fighter takes off on the USS John C. Stennis, aircraft carrier in the South China Sea on Friday, April 15, 2016. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the aircraft carrier during a trip to the region

    ‘Unsafe and Unprofessional’: Chinese Intercept US Jet Over South China Sea

    © AP Photo / Lolita C. Baldor
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL
    435019

    According to the US Department of Defense, two Chinese military aircraft intercepted a US military reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea in an “unsafe” manner this Tuesday.

    According to DoD spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Baldanza, a US reconnaissance aircraft was flying in a "routine patrol" in international airspace on May 17 when "two tactical aircraft from the People's Republic of China" intercepted the plane.

    In traditional rhetoric, the DoD labeled the intercept "unsafe and unprofessional," a commonplace code-phrase used when a US military plane or ship encounters a foreign military plane at a distance of less than 50 feet.

    Spokeswoman Baldanza noted in a written statement that, "Over the past year, DoD has seen improvements in PRC actions, flying in a safe and professional manner."

    The incident is currently under investigation by US Pacific Command.

    The incident took place over the South China Sea, a hotly-contested region through which roughly $5 trillion in trade passes annually by ship. It is almost entirely claimed by China, although portions of the sea are claimed by other countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam.

    China has repeatedly claimed that the US is "militarizing" the South China Sea. Determined to enforce the "freedom of navigation" principle of international maritime law, the US military, along with allied forces from Australia and other countries, have established military naval and air patrols in the region.

    Related:

    Afghanistan Follows the Silk Road, Backs Beijing in South China Sea
    Beijing Unlikely to Follow UN Court Ruling on South China Sea
    Why South China Sea is One of the World's 'Most Explosive Hotspots'
    Tags:
    interception, plane, US Department of Defense (DoD), South China Sea, China
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik