It appears as if no lessons were learned in the Hainan Island incident back in April of 2001. In that case, a US Navy EP-3 was intercepted by Chinese PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy) J-8’s. Allegedly one of the J-8’s was flying extremely dangerously and ended up colliding in midair with the EP-3. The J-8 and her pilot were lost, the P-3 crew had to make an emergency landing in China, and the event became a major international incident. Fast forward to May 2016, and this time another US Navy EP-3 was intercepted by a pair of Chinese J-11’s. The Pentagon has called the intercept unsafe with reports of at least one J-11 flying within 50 feet of the P-3.
At least two Chinese J-11 tactical aircraft carried out an “unsafe” intercept of a United States EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft that was conducting a routine mission in international airspace over the South China Sea, a U.S. defense official told CNN [last] Wednesday.