BEIJING: China’s defence ministry has accused the United States of violating international law and of “slander and hype” following a confrontation between a Chinese fighter jet and an American reconnaissance plane over the contested waters of the South China Sea.
The statement late on Saturday came days after the US military claimed that a Chinese J-11 fighter jet had come within 6 metres (20 feet) of a US RC-135 aircraft on December 21, forcing the latter to take evasive manoeuvres to avoid a collision but Tian Julin, a spokesperson for China’s defence ministry, said the US Indo-Pacific Command had distorted facts about the incident and that it was the US aircraft that had engaged in “dangerous maneuvers” against the Chinese jet.
Tian said the US aircraft was conducting intentional close-in reconnaissance on China’s southern coastline when the People’s Liberation Army sent fighter jets to track and monitor the plane.
Despite multiple warnings from the Chinese side, the US aircraft suddenly altered its flight stance in a “dangerous approach movement, which seriously compromised the flight safety of the Chinese military aircraft,” he said.
The defence ministry also released a video of the incident, which it said showed the US aircraft manoeuvring towards the Chinese jet. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)