US, Chinese aircrafts in 'inadvertent' encounter over South China Sea
The U.S. Pacific Command has said that a Chinese aircraft and a U.S. Navy patrol plane had an "inadvertent" encounter over the South China Sea this week, raising concerns.
The U.S. plane was "on a routine mission operating in accordance with international law," US Pacific Command said in a statement.
Pacific Command spokesman Robert Shuford said Friday that the "interaction" between a Chinese KJ-200 early warning aircraft and a U.S. Navy P-3C plane took place on Wednesday in international airspace over the waters.
He said the Department of Defense and the Pacific Command "are always concerned about unsafe interactions with Chinese military forces."
"We will address the issue in appropriate diplomatic and military channels."
On the other hand, the Chinese defense ministry said that the Chinese pilot responded with "legal and professional measures".
"We hope the US side keeps in mind the present condition of relations between the two countries and militaries, adopts practical measures, and eliminates the origin of air and sea mishaps between the two countries," the Global Times cited an unnamed defence ministry official as saying.