(ReliableNews.org) – China has made claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea, saying almost all of it belongs to them. That’s not a claim that other nations support, including the US. Recently, an American warship was doing routine patrols when an accident nearly occurred with an aggressive Chinese pilot.
US officials reported a Chinese fighter pilot “demonstrated poor airmanship” on October 24 when he almost collided with an American ship that was patrolling the South China Sea. The pilot was flying a J-11 jet when he got within 10 feet of a B-52 bomber and was traveling at an “uncontrolled excessive speed.” His aggressive maneuvers put him in a very dangerous position and threatened the lives of American service members who might have been killed had the aircraft smashed into one another.
US Indo-Pacific Command released a video of the incident, showing just how close the Chinese pilot came to crashing.
According to ABC News, the incident occurred during a nighttime intercept. INDOPACOM released a statement about the near-crash saying there was “limited visibility” during the incident and it was conducted “in a manner contrary to international air safety rules and norms.”
The crash is one of a series of 180 incidents of “unsafe, unprofessional” and risky behavior carried out by the Chinese military in the last two years. The Department of Defense recently released a video of 15 incidents of “coercive and risky operational behavior” by China’s military.
Wu Qian, the Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman, told CNN that the video released by INDOPACOM shows that the American military is the “real provoker, risk-taker and disrupter.” Further, he claimed the US warship is endangering his country’s national security and China will take the necessary steps to “safeguard national sovereignty.”
Mao Ning, the spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, accused American jets of “flex[ing] their muscles at [China’s] doorstep is the root cause of aviation and maritime safety risks.”
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