Chinese fighter jets intercept USAF’s aircraft over East China Sea

7 June 2016 (Last Updated June 7th, 2016 18:30)

A Chinese J-10 fighter jet has reportedly intercepted a US Air Force (USAF) RC-135 reconnaissance plane over the East China Sea.

A Chinese J-10 fighter jet has reportedly intercepted a US Air Force (USAF) RC-135 reconnaissance plane over the East China Sea.

Two Chinese fighters intercepted the USAF's spy plane that was conducting a routine patrol in the international airspace, media sources reported citing the US Pacific Command.

Pacific Command was quoted by Reuters as saying: "One of the intercepting Chinese jets had an unsafe excessive rate of closure on the RC-135 aircraft.

"The Department of Defense is addressing the issue with China in appropriate diplomatic and military channels."

"Initial assessment is that this seems to be a case of improper airmanship, as no other provocative or unsafe manoeuvres occurred.

"The Department of Defense is addressing the issue with China in appropriate diplomatic and military channels."

The latest interception follows a similar incident when a fighter jet flew dangerously close to a US military aircraft over the South China Sea in May this year.

The Chinese fighter jet made several passes under the US EP-3 aircraft, with one pass being only between 50ft to 100ft away.

According to the US Department of Defense, the incident that occurred in May violated an agreement that was signed between the US and China in 2015 to stabilise military relations.

Meanwhile, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying: "The US continues to carry out close reconnaissance activities against China, which severely undermines China's maritime security."