China dismisses US criticism of jet encounter as 'groundless'
Published on Aug 24, 2014 1:28 PM
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China dismissed US criticism of manoeuvres by one of its jets near a US Navy patrol plane off the Chinese coast as groundless and said its pilot had maintained a safe distance from the US aircraft.
The Defence Ministry statement came in response to a diplomatic complaint the Pentagon filed with Beijing on Friday when it said a Chinese jet had come within metres of the US plane.
"The US side's criticism of China is totally groundless," the Chinese statement said on Saturday.
The military forces of the two countries have been looking to forge closer ties, but these have been frequently tested as tensions between China and its neighbours, some of them US treaty allies, have heightened over competing territorial claims in the South China and East China seas.
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