A United States Boeing RC135 reconnaissance aircraft was forced to take evasive action after it was intercepted by a Chinese J-11 fighter which came dangerously close to the US aircraft.
In a statement released by US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) the department said “On Dec. 21 (China Standard Time), a People’s Liberation Army – Navy J-11 fighter pilot performed an unsafe manoeuvre during an intercept of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 aircraft, which was lawfully conducting routine operations over the South China Sea in international airspace. The PLAN pilot flew an unsafe manoeuvre by flying in front of and within 20 feet of the nose of the RC-135, forcing the RC-135 to take evasive manoeuvres to avoid a collision.”
It added that “The U.S. Indo-Pacific Joint Force is dedicated to a free and open Indo-Pacific region and will continue to fly, sail and operate at sea and in international airspace with due regard for the safety of all vessels and aircraft under international law. We expect all countries in the Indo-Pacific region to use international airspace safely and in accordance with international law.“
USINDOPACCOM also posted footage of the incident.