A Chinese military aircraft performed an “unsafe” maneuver while intercepting a U.S. spy plane last week, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday. The incident was revealed the same day that China’s President Xi Jinping touched down in the United States for a weeklong and potentially pivotal visit, according to Reuters.
The Chinese jet apparently passed in front of an American RC-135 reconnaissance plane that was flying above the Yellow Sea about 80 miles east of the Shandong Peninsula on Sept. 15. While the maneuver was not considered provocative, the U.S. Defense Department is still reviewing the report of the incident, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters Tuesday.
“One of the maneuvers conducted by the Chinese aircraft during this intercept was perceived as unsafe by the RC-135 air crew, and at this point, right now, there’s no indication this was a near collision,” he said, according to CNN. “But the report that came back was that the plane operated in an unsafe fashion.”