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Chinese military jets intercept U.S. aircraft
January 22 2018, 08:33 | Perry Erickson
A radiation-detecting U.S. Air Force aircraft was intercepted by two Chinese Su-30 fighter jets over the East China Sea Wednesday. The U.S. plane was operating in accordance with worldwide law, they said.
The US crew aboard the WC-135 characterised Wednesday's move as "unprofessional", a statement from Air Force Lt. Col. Hodge said.
Reports said the U.S. WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft was flying in worldwide airspace over the sea, when China's Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets intercepted it. Wu blamed surveillance by US planes and vessels as the "root cause of military security problems concerning sea and air" between the two countries and urged the U.S.to stop such activities.
Japan scrambled fighter jets on Thursday after four Chinese coastguard vessels entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near disputed East China Sea islets and a drone-like object flew near one ship, Japan said.
The U.S. military did not say whether the encounter was unsafe, but the crew of the aircraft reportedly called the interception "unprofessional".
Officials told CNN the Chinese fighters came within 150 feet of the USA plane and one of the fighters flew upside down over the us plane. China needs to do more research on the incident, Hua said.
Speaking earlier, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "We hope that the USA side can respect China's reasonable security concerns".
Officials told NBC China's actions are being addressed through "appropriate diplomatic channels". At that time the US called the incident unsafe. An American official told CNN, however, that the plane has been regularly deployed in Northeast Asia to gather evidence of possible further nuclear tests by North Korea.
The Yellow Sea is the northern part of the East China Sea, which lies between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula.
China has not commented on the incident, but it accuses the USA of carrying out reconnaissance flights over Chinese coastal waters and regularly calls on the United States to reduce patrols in the area. Two Chinese JH-7 aircraft came within 500 feet of the USA aircraft in that incident. "This incident is an extremely serious breach of our country's sovereignty".
China has claimed a large section of the East China Sea, a move the US calls illegitimate.