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US and Ally Show Strength in Disputed South China Sea

According to the US military, a Chinese fighter jet came very close to a US B-52 bomber over the South China Sea, just 10 feet away. They almost got into an accident. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the incident highlights the risk of something going wrong, especially as the U.S. and China seek to increase their influence in the region. However, the Chinese government blames Washington for the incident.

US-China Tensions Rise as Aircraft Nearly Collide

During a nighttime interception, a Shenyang J-11 twin-engine fighter approached a U.S. military aircraft at uncontrollable excessive speed, “flying below, in front of, and within 10 feet of the B-52, putting both aircraft at risk of collision. ” ”. said in a statement.

“We are concerned that this pilot was unaware of how close he was to collision,” the military added. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the United States, suggesting that the American aircraft’s flight over the South China Sea was a deliberate provocation.

“U.S. military aircraft have flown thousands of kilometers to China’s gateway to flex their muscles,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning. “This is a source of threats to maritime and air security and is not conducive to regional peace and stability.”

‘Routine Operations’

The U.S. military said in a statement that the plane was “legally conducting routine operations” before Tuesday’s interception, but it is unclear what the B-52s were doing in the South China Sea or with the group.

The Chinese government rejected the US complaint and called on the US to halt similar flights in the South China Sea.

China is increasingly asserting territorial waters over much of the South China Sea. A claim rejected by the United States and other countries that rely on the vast ocean for shipping.

China’s claims have sparked long-running territorial disputes with other countries in the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest trade routes.

In response, China said the United States had no right to intervene in the China-Manila dispute. The United States and its allies regularly conduct naval exercises in the South China Sea. And regularly fly aircraft over the area to emphasize the international nature of its waters and airspace.