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China denies US allegations of unsafe plane intercept

By Zhang Zhihao | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-28 15:47

China denied US allegations that two Chinese fighter jets unsafely intercepted a US military plane earlier this week, saying that its aircraft were acting in accordance with the law.

"Related remarks from the US side are inconsistent with fact," Wu Qian, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said on Sunday. "The Chinese aircraft investigated the US plane in accordance with the law, and related maneuvers were professional and safe."

"Recently, US military has frequently dispatched planes and ships into China's sea and air territory, threatening our sovereignty and security, as well as putting the lives of front-line staff in danger," he added.

On May 25, two Chinese J-10 fighter jets came within 182 meters of a P-3 Orion surveillance plane flying 240 kilometers south east of Hong Kong. One of the jets flew in front of the US aircraft, "restricting its ability to maneuver," according to foreign media, citing anonymous US military officials.

On the same day, the USS Dewey, a US guided missile destroyer, was sailing near a group of islands in the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea. The People's Liberation Army Navy dispatched two frigates, the Liuzhou and Luzhou, to investigate and warn the US ship to leave.

On May 17, the WC-135 Constant Phoenix - a US reconnaissance aircraft - was carrying out operation in airspace over the Chinese Yellow Sea, and Chinese aircraft acted to identify and investigate in accordance with the law," the statement said, calling the action "professional" and "safe", according to ministry's previous statements.

"These actions are the root cause of the security issue between China and the US both in the air and at sea," Wu said. "We again urge the US to take concrete actions to correct and avoid such incidents from happening again."

"The Chinese military will resolutely carry out its duty, and protect national sovereignty and security," he added.



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