Video: Chinese fighter jet buzzes U.S. Air Force plane in ‘unnecessarily aggressive’ maneuver

A Chinese fighter jet conducted “an unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” by darting in front of an American surveillance plane over the South China Sea on Friday, according to the U.S. military.

The incident, which was captured on video and released by the U.S on Monday, came as the U.S. Air Force RC-135 surveillance plane was flying in international airspace. The maneuver by the Chinese J-16 forced the U.S. plane to fly through the jet’s turbulence.

“The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate – safely and responsibly – wherever international law allows, and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Joint Force will continue to fly in international airspace with due regard for the safety of all vessels and aircraft under international law,” U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement. “We expect all countries in the Indo-Pacific region to use international airspace safely and in accordance with international law.”

The intercept comes as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrives in Japan for consultations with officials there, the start of a trip that will also take him to India, followed by a major speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

It also comes as China’s defense minister, Li Shangfu, continues to refuse to speak with Austin despite repeated U.S. requests in recent months.

Chinese jets also buzzed American military aircraft over the South China Sea in February and December, drawing protests from Washington.

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