The Pentagon is currently reviewing details and classified photos from the latest spat between China and the US — in the South China Sea.
According to US Defense officials, the Pentagon is looking into an initial account that two Chinese J-11 fighters made an unsafe interception of a US Navy EP-3 spy plane in international airspace, on Tuesday.
A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said today that the Chinese jets maintained a “safe distance” while intercepting the US aircraft over the South China Sea two days ago.
The Chinese are denying a Pentagon account that Chinese jet fighters conducted a “risky close-range interception,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
A Defense Dept spokeswoman said that the US maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft was flying in a “routine patrol” in international airspace … when “two tactical aircraft from the People’s Republic of China” intercepted the U.S. plane.
NBC News reports that the two Chinese jets flew about 50-feet from the Navy reconnaissance plane.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a press conference today that “…our folks were flying in a safe manner.”
He also added: “Our aircrew felt the [Chinese] approach was not conducted in a safe manner”.
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