China rejects Pentagon's charge of 'unsafe and unprofessional' interception of US plane over South China Sea

Accusing the Pentagon of distorting facts, China denied that an encounter between Chinese fighter jets and an American surveillance plane was 'unsafe and unprofessional'.

PTI May 28, 2017 17:13:41 IST
China rejects Pentagon's charge of 'unsafe and unprofessional' interception of US plane over South China Sea

Beijing: Accusing the Pentagon of distorting facts, China on Sunday denied its charge that an encounter between Chinese fighter jets and an American surveillance plane over the South China Sea was "unsafe and unprofessional".

Chinese J-10 fighter planes intercepted a US Navy P-3 Orion operating in international airspace over the South China Sea, the Pentagon had claimed.

The US termed the move as "unsafe and unprofessional" and said that it would convey its concerns to the Chinese government.

China rejects Pentagons charge of unsafe and unprofessional interception of US plane over South China Sea

Two Chinese SU-30 fighter jets take off from an unspecified location to fly a patrol over South China Sea in August 2016. AP

However, Chinese defence ministry in a statement said the US account of the incident "was not in accordance with the facts".

"On 25 May, a US patrol plane carried out reconnaissance activities in the airspace southeast of Hong Kong, China," it said in a statement on its website.

"The Chinese military aircraft carried out identification in accordance with law. The operations were professional and safe," it said.

Last week, China accused the US of trespassing its sovereignty by dispatching a naval ship close to an artificial islands building by Beijing in the disputed waters.

The US has been sending naval ships and aircraft to assert the freedom of navigation in the areas claimed by China in the South China Sea.

China has been opposing the US dispatching naval ships and aircraft to assert freedom of navigation.

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