Dangerous China Intercept Of U.S. Aircraft Confirmed By Pentagon
A Chinese jet flew dangerously close to an American spy plane over the Yellow Sea on September 15. The report came from the U.S. Pacific Command and had already been confirmed by U.S. Senator John McCain and the Pentagon.
Senator McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the intercept raises more doubts on China’s intentions over the Asia-Pacific region. “Yet another dangerous Chinese intercept of a U.S. aircraft last week shows that China feels emboldened to continue its pattern of aggressive behavior in the Asia-Pacific region,” McCain said in a statement.
“That this flight came amid negotiations of rules for air-to-air encounters and just one week ahead of President Xi’s arrival in the United States raises further questions about China’s intentions and the Obama Administration’s response thus far,” he stressed further.
Pentagon’s press secretary, Peter Cook, had also confirmed the dangerous intercept. “I can confirm for you that the department’s reviewing a report that came in from PACOM regarding, as you said, a September 15th intercept of a U.S. RC-135 by an aircraft from the People’s Republic of China,” Cook told press in a briefing on Sept. 22.
He reiterated that it happened in the Yellow Sea, approximately 80 miles east of the Shandong Peninsula. “One of the maneuvers conducted by the Chinese aircraft during this intercept was perceived as unsafe by the RC-135 air crew,” Cook further explained. While there has been no indication of a near collision, “the report that came back was that the plane operated in an unsafe fashion,” Cook emphasized. He added that the incident is still under review.