On Tuesday, China called on the United States to end “unfriendly” and “dangerous” military flights after two Chinese fighter jets intercepted an American surveillance plane across the East China Sea.
The Pentagon said earlier, U.S. Navy EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft took evasive moves Sunday after a Chinese J-10 warplane zoomed underneath it, lagged down and pulled up in front of it.
China’s defense ministry said it was legal, necessary and professional.
It added in a statement, U.S. side should stop such threatening, unprofessional and unfriendly dangerous military exercises and take practical measures to add positive energy to the development of Sino-U.S. military relations.
Asked about the incident at a daily briefing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing opposed to such missions but remained “committed to building military mutual trust with other countries.”
US Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said the Chinese fighters stopped the US EP-3 surveillance plane on Sunday in international airspace within the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea.
Such incidents continue to happen despite an agreement between the two sides to prevent them from sparking an international crisis.
While China has long bothered at US surveillance operations targeting its military, the PLA has been handling such missions further and further from its home ports.
Earlier this month, China sailed a spy ship through the narrow Tsugaru Strait dividing the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, while another was found last week within Australia’s exclusive economic zone where allies Australia and US were conducting major war games.