Beijing: Dismissing US allegations that Chinese warplanes were harassing American fighter jets in the disputed South China Sea, China has asked Washington to stop close-in surveillance of its coasts and create a positive atmosphere for bilateral military ties.
Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said that one US anti-submarine plane and one patrol aircraft flew to an airspace, about 220 kilometres east of China`s Hainan Island, to conduct close-in surveillance on Tuesday morning.
In response, Chinese fighter jet took off to make regular identification and verification, he said.
Yang called the US criticism "totally groundless," as the Chinese pilot, with professional operation, kept the jet within a safe distance from the American aircraft.
It was US massive and frequent close-in surveillance of China that endanger the two sides` air and marine security, and is the root of accidents, he said.
China urged the US to abide by international law and practise, respect concerns of the coastal countries, and properly deal with the differences between the two sides on air and marine security issues, the spokesman said.
Yang said that the US side should follow the principle of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
He also asked America to take concrete actions, reduce and finally stop close-in surveillance of China, so as to create a sound atmosphere for bilateral military ties.
US Defence Department press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters yesterday that Washington had formally complained to Chinese officials over the "deeply concerning provocation".
The planes had come "very close," he said.
The incident occurred earlier this week when a Navy P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance plane was buzzed by a Chinese fighter jet, which came over the top of the US aircraft, within 20 to 30 feet of it, and zoomed across the front of the plane so US pilots could see the bellyload weapons the Chinese war jet was carrying.