WASHINGTON: Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted an American military plane over the East China Sea, media in the United States have reported, citing US officials.
NBC News said the US aircraft, a WC-135 Constant Phoenix, was conducting a routine mission in international airspace Wednesday when it was intercepted over the East China Sea by two Chinese Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft.
The WC-135 is a so-called “sniffer plane” designed to scan the atmosphere for signs of nuclear activity.
NBC said the crew of the US plane described the encounter as “unprofessional,” although not necessarily dangerous.
It said military officials insist the US plane was operating in accordance with international law.
Officials told the US news network that the matter is being addressed with Beijing via “appropriate diplomatic channels”.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing in Beijing that she had no information about the incident, and the country’s ministry of defense did not respond to AFP’s request for comment.
Story first published: 19th May 2017