July 24 (UPI) — Chinese fighter jets buzzed a U.S. Navy plane over the weekend over the East China Sea — nearly leading to a collision, the Pentagon said Monday.
“Two Chinese J-10 aircraft intercepted a U.S. Navy P-3 [surveillance plane] operating in international airspace in the East China Sea. The aircrew deemed the intercept unsafe and unprofessional,” spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Logan told The Japan Times.
The Pentagon declined additional comment, but a U.S. official told Fox News that one of the Chinese planes flew beneath the U.S. plane and maneuvered to reappear 300 feet ahead.
The intercept caused the U.S. pilot to “take evasive action to avoid collision,” the official said, also noting that the Chinese fighters were equipped with air-to-air missiles.
The incident occurred 90 miles south of Qingdao, China, and is the first such encounter between Chinese and U.S. military planes since May, when a similar incident occurred near Hong Kong.