PLA jet fighters intercept U.S. spy plane

By Chen Boyuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 20, 2017
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Chinese military aircraft intercepted a U.S. reconnaissance plane in the airspace over the Yellow Sea on May 17, the Ministry of National Defense (MOD) confirmed early on the morning of May 20.


Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense (MOD), responds to media questions at a routine press conference on March 30, 2017. [File Photo by Chen Boyuan /]

U.S. media reported this aerial encounter on May 19, saying that two Chinese PLA (People's Liberation Army) Air Force Su-30 jet fighters intercepted a U.S. Air Force WC-135 radiation detection plane.

These reports also said the PLA Su-30 planes came as close as 150 feet (46 meters) of the American spy plane, with one Su-30 flying inverted directly above the American aircraft WC-135.

However, MOD spokesperson Senior Colonel Wu Qian refuted this, saying "the U.S. version of the incident is not consistent with the facts."

He said that a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft was conducting surveillance activities over China's sector of the Yellow Sea and Chinese military jets identified them. "Our pilots' handling of this incident was professional and safe," Wu stressed.

The MOD spokesperson noted that frequent close-in reconnaissance by U.S. military aircraft and vessels are "fundamental causes" affecting China-U.S. military security in regard to maritime and airspace issues. He urged the United States to halt spying activities to prevent such incidents from happening again.

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