Clash in the skies: Chinese jets intercept US fighter aircraft
In an instance of power clash in the skies over the East China sea, two Chinese fighter jets intercepted an American surveillance aircraft. According to US officials, armed Chinese J-10 jets came within 91 metres of the America's EP-3 plane after which the Americans were forced to change direction. Although such interactions are common, the current interception has been termed 'unsafe' by US officials.
Where did the incident happen?
The incident happened 148-km away from the Chinese city of Qingdao. China had announced an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in 2013 over the East China Sea, which means that any aircraft entering the zone would have to comply with China's rules.
Was this a rare instance?
Such intercepts are not uncommon. A 2001 intercept resulted in a collision had soured the relations between the two countries. A similar incident also occurred in May 2017. China further watches US military activity in the Asia-Pacific closely and had raised concerns on America's deployment of Terminal High-altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defence systems in South Korea, stating the radars can reach Chinese territory