China has accused the US of trespass and violating rules by allowing its military aircraft to fly into a no-fly zone.
The US Air Force’s U-2 high-altitude spy reconnaissance aircraft is said to have conducted a sortie during which it flew into the designated airspace.
The no-fly zone was established by the People’s Liberation Army Northern Theater Command for live-fire exercises.
Chinese National Defense Ministry military spokesperson Wu Qian has condemned the flight and called the act ‘an obvious provocation’.
In a statement, Wu Qian was quoted by Xinhuanet as saying: “The trespass severely affected China’s normal exercises and training activities and violated the rules of behaviour for air and maritime safety between China and the United States, as well as relevant international practices.”
“The US action could easily have resulted in misjudgements and even accidents.”
“China firmly opposes such provocative actions and has lodged solemn representations with the US side.”
Meanwhile, US Pacific Air Forces told CNN that the flight did not breach any rules.
In a statement, US Pacific Air Forces was quoted by CNN as saying: “A U-2 sortie was conducted in the Indo-Pacific area of operations and within the accepted international rules and regulations governing aircraft flights.
“Pacific Air Forces personnel will continue to fly and operate anywhere international law allows, at the time and tempo of our choosing.”