PLA aircraft intercept USAF jet off HK

By Chen Boyuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 29, 2017
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Senior Colonel Wu Qian, the spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense of China. [File photo by Chen Boyuan/]

Chinese military aircraft intercepted a U.S. Air Force surveillance plane on May 25 in airspace southeast of Hong Kong, China's Ministry of National Defense (MOD) confirmed on May 28.

U.S. media reported the previous day that two PLA (People's Liberation Army) Air Force J-10 jet fighters intercepted a U.S. P-3 maritime surveillance aircraft 240 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong. The reports claimed the Chinese fighters came as close as 180 meters.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, the spokesman for the MOD, rejected the allegation, saying it was "inconsistent with fact."

Wu said the U.S. plane was engaged in spying activities off the coast of China's Hong Kong SAR, prompting PLA aircraft to be scrambled to investigate. The PLA pilots' handling of the incident was "professional and safe," he added.

The MOD has accused the United States of frequently sending military vessels and aircraft into the waters and airspace off China's coast.

Such activities jeopardize China's sovereign safety and endanger the frontline personnel from both parties. "They are the fundamental cause of China-U.S. military issues concerning maritime and airspace security."

Wu Qian reiterated that China demands the United States take concrete steps to prevent further such incidents, adding the Chinese military would resolutely carry out its duties to safeguard the country's sovereignty and safety.

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