Chinese interception of US spy plane ‘legal, necessary’, says Beijing

New York: The Beijing in a statement has said the interception of a US spy plane by two Chinese jets over the Yellow Sea was ‘legal, necessary, and professional’. Adding that such flights by Washington threaten China’s national security, it added.

“Close-in reconnaissance by US aircraft threatens China’s national security, harms Sino-US maritime and air military safety, endangers the personal safety of both sides’ pilots and is the root cause of unexpected incidents,” Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said, RT reports.

The actions of the Chinese jets’ pilots were “legal, necessary and professional” and conducted “in accordance with the law and the rules,” he added.

The statement from China has come after US officials had told local media about interception of their plane by two Chinese jets on Sunday.

A US EP-3 ARIES signals intelligence plane was flying about 140km south of the port city of Qingdao on the east coast of China.

“One of the Chinese jets flew under the EP-3 and appeared 90 meters (295ft) in front of the US plane, causing the crew to take evasive action to avoid a collision, according to one official.

Earlier in July, Beijing had spoken after two US long-range supersonic bombers flew over the disputed South China Sea.