Chinese jets intercept U.S. surveillance plane: U.S. officials

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries signals reconnaissance aircraft, escorted by an EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, performs a flyby over aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Arabian Gulf April 24, 2016. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bobby J Siens/Handout/File Photo via REUTERS

Idrees Ali July 24, 2017 / 9:46 PM / 2 hours ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the East China Sea at the weekend, with one jet coming within about 300 feet (91 meters) of the American aircraft, U.S. officials said on Monday.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial reports showed one of the Chinese J-10 aircraft came close enough to the U.S. EP-3 plane on Sunday to cause the American aircraft to change direction.

One of the officials said the Chinese jet was armed and that the interception happened 80 nautical miles (148 km) from the Chinese city of Qingdao.

The Pentagon said that the encounter between the aircraft was unsafe, but added that the vast majority of interactions were safe.

Incidents such as Sunday’s intercept are relatively common.

In May, two Chinese SU-30 aircraft intercepted a U.S. aircraft designed to detect radiation while it was flying in international air space over the East China Sea.

China closely monitors any U.S. military activity around its coastline.

In 2001, an intercept of a U.S. spy plane by a Chinese fighter jet resulted in a collision that killed the Chinese pilot and forced the American plane to make an emergency landing at a base on Hainan.

The 24 U.S. air crew members were held for 11 days until Washington apologized for the incident. That encounter soured U.S.-Chinese relations in the early days of President George W. Bush’s first term in office.

Separately, the Pentagon said the U.S. military would soon carry out another test of it’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

“These tests are done as a routine measure to ensure that the system is ready and… they are scheduled well in advance of any other real world geopolitical events going on,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters.

The director of the Missile Defense Agency, Lieutenant General Sam Greaves, said in a statement that a test would be carried out at the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Alaska.

Last month the United States shot down a simulated, incoming intermediate-range ballistic missile similar to the ones being developed by countries like North Korea, in a test of the nation’s THAAD missile defenses.

The United States deployed THAAD to South Korea this year to guard against North Korea’s shorter-range missiles. That has drawn fierce criticism from China, which says the system’s powerful radar can probe deep into its territory.

Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Grant McCool and Andrew Hay

Source: Reuters “Chinese jets intercept U.S. surveillance plane: U.S. officials”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


4 Comments on “Chinese jets intercept U.S. surveillance plane: U.S. officials”

  1. PaveEagle says:

    Didn’t the Chinese say that American navy patrols would be restricted from, operating in Chinese claimed waters?


    • Joseph says:

      That’s why the Chinese has been intercepting rogue American patrol. Just like its president, the American is being belligerent.


  2. Simon says:

    Sounds more like the American EP-3 being chased away.


  3. Joseph says:

    Yes, of course it is unsafe, for the EP-3. But it is quite safe for the fighter jets, unless the EP-3 decided to panic again, like in 2001. But every Chinese pilots is aware of the situation by now, and train for that possible maneuver. Otherwise old Trump would have to practice apologizing like the not-so-old Bush Jr did in 2001. Intercepting EP-3 is a good practice for Chinese pilots and it is free. After all, we don’t know how long the American would be able to sustain this kind of exercise in the coming future.