The Pentagon says two Chinese fighter jets flew within about 50 feet of a U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane Tuesday in international airspace over the South China Sea.

The Pentagon characterized the incident as an unsafe intercept and said it is being reviewed.

A U.S. military official says the two Chinese J-11 fighters flew out to intercept the U.S. EP-3 Aries aircraft and came so close that they forced the pilot to descend a couple hundred feet in order to avoid a collision. The U.S. surveillance plane was conducting routine operations in the region.

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