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South China Sea dispute: Chinese fighters intercept US plane over disputed waters, Pentagon 'concerned'

Washington: The Pentagon on Friday said it was concerned by an "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter between two Chinese fighters and a United States surveillance plane over the South China Sea.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The Chinese J-10 warplanes intercepted a US Navy P-3 that was operating in international airspace on Wednesday, Pentagon spokesman Commander Gary Ross said.

"The aircrew deemed the intercept unsafe and unprofessional. Operations were able to continue unimpeded," he said.

"We continue to review the facts of this incident and will convey our concerns through appropriate channels with the Chinese government."

On Thursday, a United States destroyer sailed in the disputed South China Sea waters near a reef claimed by Beijing in the first "freedom of navigation" exercise under president Donald Trump.

The maneuvers come ahead of a major regional security summit in Singapore next week.

Published Date: May 27, 2017 08:36 AM | Updated Date: May 27, 2017 08:36 AM

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