Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the East China Sea at the weekend, with one jet coming within about 300 feet (91 meters) of the American aircraft, U.S. officials said on Monday.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial reports showed one of the Chinese J-10 aircraft came close enough to the U.S. EP-3 plane on Sunday to cause the American aircraft to change direction.
One of the officials said the Chinese jet was armed and that the interception happened 80 nautical miles (148 km) from the Chinese city of Qingdao.
The Pentagon said that the encounter between the aircraft was unsafe, but added that the vast majority of interactions were safe.
Incidents such as Sunday’s intercept are relatively common.
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