China urges US to stop ‘un­friendly’, ‘dan­ger­ous’ re­con­nais­sance flights

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Bei­jing, China - China on Tues­day called on the United States to stop ‘un­friendly’ and ‘dan­ger­ous’ mil­i­tary flights af­ter two Chi­nese fighter jets in­ter­cepted an Amer­i­can sur­veil­lance plane over the East China Sea.

The US Navy EP-3 re­con­nais­sance air­craft took eva­sive ac­tion on Sun­day af­ter a Chi­nese J-10 war­plane zoomed un­der­neath it, slowed down and pulled up in front of it, the Pen­tagon said ear­lier. China’s De­fence Min­istry said the ac­tion of its pi­lots was ‘le­gal, nec­es­sary and pro­fes­sional’.

‘The US mil­i­tary air­craft com­ing near China’s bor­der and car­ry­ing out re­con­nais­sance has threat­ened China’s na­tional se­cu­rity, dam­aged Sino-US mil­i­tary air and sea safety, en­dan­gered the per­sonal safety of both pi­lots,’ it said in a state­ment.

‘The US side should im­me­di­ately stop such un­safe, un­pro­fes­sional and un­friendly dan­ger­ous mil­i­tary ac­tiv­i­ties and take prac­ti­cal mea­sures to add pos­i­tive en­ergy to the de­vel­op­ment of Sino-US mil­i­tary re­la­tions.’

Pen­tagon spokesman Navy Cap­tain Jeff Davis said the in­ci­dent, which oc­curred west of the Korean penin­sula, was an ‘un­char­ac­ter­is­tic’ ex­am­ple of un­safe be­hav­iour by the Chi­nese mil­i­tary.

“There are in­ter­cepts that oc­cur in in­ter­na­tional air space reg­u­larly, and the vast ma­jor­ity of them are con­ducted in a safe man­ner,” he said.

The US ac­cused China of con­duct­ing un­safe in­ter­cepts twice in May, when sim­i­lar en­coun­ters oc­curred be­tween a WC-135 ‘nu­clear snif­fer’ plane and Chi­nese SU-30 fight­ers over the

East China Sea and later in the month be­tween a US Navy P-3 and Chi­nese J-10s over the South China Sea.

In April 2001 a Chi­nese fighter jet col­lided with a US Navy EP-3 spy plane around 110km off Hainan Is­land over the South China Sea.

One Chi­nese pi­lot died and the US plane made an emer­gency land­ing on Hainan, where China held the 24-mem­ber crew for more than a week un­til Bei­jing and Wash­ing­ton cut a deal for their re­lease.

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