Tensions in the Pacific: Chinese fighter jet approaches US aircraft on patrol in the region

A Chinese J-11 fighter jet flies near a US Air Force RC-135 in international airspace over the South China Sea on December 21, 2022 (REUTERS)

Armed Chinese military aircraft Four missiles One did Disturbing maneuver This Friday around A US Navy P-8 patrol aircraftVarious American media revealed.

“A US plane, it’s PLA (People’s Liberation Army, China) Air Force. It is approaching Chinese airspace. Keep a safe distance or you will be blocked”, according to a transcript in the newspaper articles, sent to a Chinese ground military station P-8. Wall Street Journal and chains CNN And NBC.

The CNN Reportedly, journalists from his team were on the American flight when the incident took place. According to the reconstruction of facts, A Chinese J-11 fighter jet A P-8 Poseidon appeared about 500 feet through the left wing of a maritime patrol aircraft. While I was flying over the Paracel IslandsIt was claimed by China and its neighbors before returning to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

Apparently there was a Chinese plane The team was so close CNN He could see how the pilots turned their heads to watch themand has a red star on its tail and is armed with four air-to-air missiles.

File photo of an uninhabited island in the disputed South China Sea (REUTERS/Eric de Castro)

According to the report, US Air Force One’s pilot, Lt. Nicky Slaughter, was in contact with the Chinese pilot. “I want to go west. Do the same, switch”, he would have told him, but there was no response from the Chinese army. It escorted the American plane for 15 minutes before withdrawing.

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According to US officials, such encounters in the South China Sea are becoming more frequent and dangerous Beijing and Washington are intensifying their influence campaigns in the Pacific.

Last Wednesday, the United States, South Korea and Japan conducted a joint missile defense exercise in the international waters of the Sea of ​​Japan. “This exercise demonstrates a commitment to greater trilateral cooperation in response Regional security challenges amid an increasingly harsh security environment”, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force said in a statement.

(with information from EFE)

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Esmond Harmon

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