China apparently sent a menacing radio warning to a U.S. Navy plane recently flying over the South China Sea before dispatching a fighter to find the American plane, Fox News informed.
The Chinese air force ground station conveyed a message to a U.S. Navy P-8 aircraft that was flying over the South China Sea outside of Chinese airspace, cautioning them that if they came any closer, they would be held entirely accountable.
Soon after, a Chinese fighter jet positioned itself 500 feet or so off the left wing of the American aircraft, which kept flying for more than an hour until disengaging.
As China tries to establish itself as the dominating player in the region and asserts control over many of the mostly uninhabited islands in the water, U.S. military officials claim that contacts are occurring increasingly frequently in the South China Sea.
Capt. Will Toraason, the pilot of a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft, said to an NBC News correspondent that while usually they don’t receive a response, they occasionally do. Yet, overall, they are attempting to promote a professional and safe interaction when they are both flying in international airspace.
The engagement between the two military superpowers comes weeks after hostilities erupted over a Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down by the United States off the coast of South Carolina after flying over the country for many days.
Approximately two weeks after the balloon incident, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi had a “confrontational” meeting, during which they both concurred that the balloon occurrence should not be repeated.
The Chinese government has publicly attacked the United States regarding the incident, denouncing the reaction to the balloon as “hysterical” and labeling the decision to bring it down as an “absurd” breach of international law.
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