A Chinese J-16 fighter jet made an unnecessarily aggressive maneuver to intercept a US reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea and flew directly in front of it, the US Indo-Pacific Command said on Tuesday.
As stated in the communiqué of the command, the incident occurred on May 26 in international airspace.
“The PRC pilot flew directly in front of the nose of an Air Force RC-135 USA, forcing an American plane to fly through wake turbulence. The RC-135 conducted safe and routine operations over the South China Sea in international space, in accordance with international law.
The command announced further operations
The command said it would continue to conduct similar operations and expects “all countries in the Indo-Pacific region to safely use international airspace.”
A 30-second video was posted on INDOPACOM’s website, showing a Chinese fighter making a turn in front of an RC-135 at relatively close range.
Main photo source: U.S. Indo-Pacific Command