Chinese fighter jets intercept USA aircraft

Chinese fighter jets intercept USA aircraft

Wednesday's incident was the second this year involving US and Chinese planes.

Hodge told the AP that "U.S. military aircraft routinely transit global airspace throughout the Pacific, including the East China Sea".

In that incident, the two planes flew within 1,000 feet (300 meters) of each other in the area of the contested Scarborough Shoal, just 230 km (140 miles) from the Philippine coast, media reports said.

Unexpected and unsafe intercepts involving US and Chinese military aircraft have occurred occasionally over the South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety. This incident was interpreted as unsafe and also inadvertent by the Navy. The very next day, the Chinese got up to more tricks in the East China Sea, spooking Japan by sending vessels and a drone near the disputed Senkaku Islands.

Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted an American military plane over the East China Sea, the US Air Force said Friday. The WC-135 have been used in the past to collect evidence of North Korean nuclear tests, according to CNN.

Japanese news outlet Nikkei reported in April that two WC-135 were deployed by the Pentagon to the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, to monitor nuclear tests by the North. The collected samples can be analyzed to determine exactly what occurred.

On Wednesday, the two Chinese SU-30 jets approached a WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft - a modified Boeing C-135 - conducting a routine mission in global airspace in accordance with worldwide law, Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Lt. Col. Lori Hodge said in a statement.

"While we are still investigating the incident, initial reports from the USA aircrew characterized the intercept as unprofessional". "The issue is being addressed with China through appropriate diplomatic and military channels".

Two Chinese military jets intercepted an American military plane over East China Sea, forcing it to return, U.S. media reported Friday.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying declined to comment on the specific incident, referring questions to the defense ministry which not yet commented. The planes came within 1,000 feet of each other, United States officials said.

"This is escalating the situation and absolutely unacceptable", Japanese Defence Minister Tomomi Inada told a news conference on Friday.

The Chinese fighter jets, he said, have demonstrated the intentions of Beijing to deal with those who break into this "remote backyard".