外文标题：China vows to respond to US surveillance flights
BEIJING: China said on Thursday that it will continue responding to US military surveillance flights off its coast, rejecting American accusations that one of Beijing’s fighter jets acted recklessly in intercepting a US Navy plane last week.
Defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said China’s military would closely monitor US flights and reiterated calls for the US to scale back or end such missions altogether.
“According to different situations we will adopt different measures to make sure we safeguard our air and sea security of the country,” Yang said at a monthly news briefing.
China has long complained about US surveillance flights that just skim the edge of China’s territorial airspace. However, Yang said such flights this year have become more frequent, are covering a wider area and are coming even closer to the Chinese coast.
US sea and air surveillance missions occur most frequently during Chinese military exercises or weapons tests, raising the risk of accidents and misunderstandings, Yang said.
That was a likely reference to an incident last December in which China accused a US Navy cruiser, the USS Cowpens, of having veered too close to China’s sole aircraft carrier in the South China Sea during sea drills. That nearly led to a collision with a Chinese navy ship in the most serious sea confrontation between the two nations in years.
The latest incident also revived memories of the 2001 collision between a Chinese jet and a US Navy surveillance aircraft off China’s Hainan Island, killing the Chinese pilot and forcing the Navy plane to make an emergency landing on the island.
Yang, however, wouldn’t say what distance China considers acceptable, saying only that the US should scale back or end such flights entirely if it wants to avoid potential accidents and build mutual trust.
The Pentagon said that in the August 19 encounter, a Chinese jet made several close passes by the Navy P-8 Poseidon plane, coming within 30 feet (9 meters) of it at one point.
It said that included the Chinese jet doing a “barrel roll” maneuver over the top of the Poseidon — a modified Boeing 737 — and passing across the nose of the Navy plane apparently to show that it was armed.
The incident took place about 135 miles (220 kilometers) from Hainan, which is home to naval airfields and a highly sensitive submarine base.
Yang rejected US accusations that the Chinese pilot acted in a dangerous and unprofessional manner, saying it was the US that seemed to have little regard for the safety of its personnel.
“China is a developing country. Our aircraft are very precious. The lives of our pilots are even more precious,” Yang said. “Compared to countries that ask their pilots to fly down on other countries’ door steps, we cherish more the safety of our personnel and equipment.”
sai ram ()
if india is spied on the same way… india will look at their spies smiling… at least china did something to defend its territory…
Shashi Prakash (New Delhi, India)
Barking Dogs seldom bite !
All Chinese actions betray their imperialistic ambitions and frustrated plans for conquest. They see the US as being the only obstacle in their way. We should not fall for the talk that their disproportionate budgets in comparison to their neighbours is merely a response to what their neighbours or the US is doing. Like Germany before WW2 there is a purpose behind their disproportionate defense buildup. India take note.
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Morgan (Australia) replies to Anthony
“Like Germany before WW2 there is a purpose behind their disproportionate defense buildup. India take note.” – Prior to the outbreak of WW2, the German arms spending was 40% of their national GDP; China’s current arms spending is 2% of GDP… just as an FYI, India spends 2.5% of it’s GDP on it’s defense industry.
@morgan India spends 1.8%
Anthony Morais replies to Morgan
In sheer dollar terms it is disproportionate to what her neighbours spend. Totally beyond what she needs for defense in what was a placid part of the world.
China should shut up. they do worse things to all of their neighbors.
India will have to join the game, if it hopes to achieve Big Power status. China is trying to yank the chain of the US although its naval capability is nothing compared to the US.