UNSAFE US NAVY P-3 INTERCEPTION BY CHINESE J-10s.

US has accused China of an unsafe interception of a Navy P-3 "Orion" surveillance plane over the South China Sea.

Chinese J-10 fighter jet

China's defense ministry on Sunday rejected the US accusations on China's "unsafe" intercept of a US P-3 "Orion" surveillance plane over the South China Sea on Thursday and urged again the US to stop such activities.

China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) was asked on Saturday to confirm and comment on the US media's report on May 27 that two Chinese J-10 fighter jets intercepted a US Navy's P-3 "Orion" surveillance plane in the airspace 150 miles (240 km) southeast of Hong Kong on May 25 and the closest distance between the military planes of the two countries was about 180 meters.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, deputy director of the Information Office of China's MND and spokesperson for the MND, responded to the incident in a short statement on Sunday morning, stressing that "the US account of the interception did not accord with the facts. "

Wu Qian said that an American surveillance aircraft was conducting surveillance activity in the southeast airspace of China's Hong Kong on May 25 and the Chinese military planes identified and verified the aircraft in accordance with laws and regulations. "The relevant actions were professional and safe," Wu said.

Wu added that the US military has sent ships and aircraft to conduct several close-in reconnaissance activities in China's sea areas and airspace in recent period of time, which infringed China's sovereignty and security and endangered the life safety of both sides' front-line personnel.

Wu said that such close-in reconnaissance activities are the root cause of military security problems between China and the United States at sea and in the air.

"We urge the US again to take effective measures to correct its mistake and prevent similar incidents happening again," Wu said.

"The Chinese military will resolutely fulfill its duty to safeguard national sovereignty and security," Wu stressed.

Source: Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China

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