A Chinese J-16 fighter pilot performed an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” on a U.S. military plane this past Friday, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Public Affairs announced in a report on Tuesday.
The Chinese fighter pilot “flew directly in front of the nose” of an RC-135 U.S. aircraft, according to the report. The U.S. plane then had to fly through the Chinese fighter plane’s turbulence.
A video taken by U.S. military personnel from inside the U.S. aircraft shows a quickly approaching Chinese fighter jet cutting off the U.S. plane and then taking a sharp turn away from the plane. The camera shakes as the U.S. plane jostles through the Chinese plane’s turbulence.
The aggressive maneuver occurred while the U.S. plane was conducting “safe and routine operations” in the sky over the South China Sea, which is international airspace.
Newsweek reached out to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Public Affairs by email for comment.
In a statement, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Public Affairs chastised the People’s Republic of China for conducting the aggressive maneuver.
“The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate — safely and responsibly — wherever international law allows, and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Joint Force will continue to fly in international airspace with due regard for the safety of all vessels and aircraft under international law,” the statement said.
“We expect all countries in the Indo-Pacific region to use international airspace safely and in accordance with international law,” the statement added.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.