WASHINGTON – Two Chinese military jets intercepted an American military plane over East China Sea, forcing it to return, US media reported Friday.
According to NBC News, the US aircraft, WC-135 Constant Phoenix was on its mission in the international airspace when it was intercepted by the Chinese planes over the East China Sea.
The WC-135 is a so-called “sniffer plane” designed to scan the atmosphere for signs of nuclear activity.
NBC said the crew of the US plane described the encounter as “unprofessional,” although not necessarily dangerous.
It said military officials insist the US plane was operating in accordance with international law.
Officials told the US news network that the matter is being addressed with Beijing via “appropriate diplomatic channels”.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing in Beijing that she had no information about the incident, and the country’s ministry of defense did not respond to AFP’s request for comment.