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Iran Press TV

Chinese jet intercepts US plane in unsafe manner: Officials

Iran Press TV

Tue Jun 7, 2016 8:15PM

A Chinese J-10 fighter jet has intercepted a US plane flying over the East China Sea in an "unsafe manner," US officials say.

The US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft was flying above the sea Tuesday, when it was approached by the jet with a "high rate of speed as it closed in" up to 100 feet (30 meter), unnamed military officials told CNN.

The US pilot's reaction or how long the confrontation took place remained unclear.

Another "unsafe" intercept was reported in mid-May, when two Chinese J-11 tactical aircraft confronted a United States EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea.

Tuesday's intercept was reported as the annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue was closing in Beijing, with Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in the Chinese capital.

China has called on the US to stop close reconnaissance activities but tensions appear to be escalating between the two powers.

The US has been accused of taking provocative measures around China particularly in the South China Sea, which is already gripped by a regional dispute over territory.

The US accuses Beijing of carrying out what it calls a land reclamation program in the South China Sea by building islands in disputed areas. Beijing, however, accuses Washington of meddling in the regional issues and deliberately stoking tensions there.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was recently in Singapore for an Asian security summit, called Shangri-La Dialogue, where he spoke of "America's determination to, and resolve to, fly, sail, or operate wherever international law allows."

Prior to the summit, Scott Bennet, a former US army psychological warfare officer, told Press TV that Carter's visit could be an "indication of the US preparation for conflict with China which it may be coordinating with its conflict with Russia in Ukraine and the Baltics."

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