China Intercepts U.S. Military Aircraft Over South China Sea

Objectivity 4.8 | Credibility 4.8 | Relevance 4.7

A Chinese J-16 jet fighter intercepted and flew in an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” near a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft operating in the South China Sea, according to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM).  The J-16 flew directly in front of the nose of the U.S. aircraft, as shown in a video published by Fox News.  The U.S. filed a complaint with Beijing, but Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning’s response implied that the U.S. was at fault for the incident, saying, “The U.S. should immediately stop these dangerous provocations.”  USINDOPACOM said the RC-135 was conducting “safe and routine operations” in international airspace in accordance with international law.  While China claims almost the entirety of the South China Sea, that claim is not recognized by the international community and some countries, like the U.S., Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia directly challenge China’s claim.