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China, US jets fly as close as 9m to each other near Hainan in 'dangerous intercept': Pentagon

Published on Aug 23, 2014 9:42 AM
 
This image obtained on Aug 22, 2014, courtesy of the Department of Defense shows a Chinese fighter jet in a photo taken by a US Navy P-8 crew. A Chinese fighter jet flew perilously close to a US military aircraft in international airspace this week in a "very dangerous" incident east of China's Hainan Island, the Pentagon said Friday. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A Chinese fighter jet flew perilously close to a United States military aircraft this week in a "very dangerous" incident in international air space east of Hainan Island, the Pentagon said Friday.

The episode raised tensions and underlined the growing rivalry between the United States and China, with Beijing building up its military and asserting its territorial claims across the Pacific.

"On Aug 19, an armed Chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a US Navy P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft that was on a routine mission," spokesman Rear-Admiral John Kirby told a news conference. The close call occurred about 220km east of China's Hainan, he said.

"We have registered our strong concerns to the Chinese about the unsafe and unprofessional intercept, which posed a risk to the safety and the well-being of the air crew and was inconsistent with customary international law," Rear-Adm Kirby added.

 
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