The skies over the Pacific Ocean have once again become a theater of concern as a Chinese fighter jet engaged in a highly dangerous maneuver, flying within 10 feet of an American B-52 bomber operating in international airspace.

The incident took place on Tuesday, October 24, and US military officials have expressed their alarm, stating that the pilot’s reckless actions risked causing a mid-air collision, a situation that could have had dire consequences.

A Risky Encounter: The Close Call in the South China Sea

Video footage released by US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) provides a chilling visual of the event.

In it, the Chinese J-11 fighter can be seen rapidly approaching the B-52, passing in front of and below the American jet’s wing over the South China Sea. Furthermore, this encounter occurred at night, adding a layer of complexity and danger to the situation.

“We are concerned this pilot was unaware of how close he came to causing a collision,” INDOPACOM said in a statement.

Retired Air Force fighter pilot Charlie “Tuna” Moore, now a visiting professor at Vanderbilt University, described to The Washington Post the incident as “a dangerous move—too close and completely unprofessional.”

A Clear Rebuke: China’s Assertive Behavior

This incident is not an isolated one but rather part of a worrying trend of unsafe Chinese air intercepts that the Pentagon has been monitoring for the past year and a half.

The US military has expressed concern about these coercive maneuvers, and they underscore the pressing need for effective communication channels between military forces to prevent such dangerous encounters.