Beijing is calling on Washington to scale back, or cancel, aerial surveillance of the Chinese mainland, since such a practice represents a security risk and a deterrent to better bilateral relations – otherwise it is ready to take measures.
Relations between China and the United States have been increasingly tense since the US shifted its foreign policy focus – together with a beefed up naval presence – toward Asia. The heightened American presence has intensified the issue of territorial claims between China and regional rivals such as Japan.
The latest dispute between the China and the US began last week when a Chinese fighter jet intercepted a US Navy P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine reconnaissance plane. US military officials said the Chinese aircraft made several close passes, coming at one point within 10 meters of its plane, Reuters reported.
It said the Chinese jet performed a “barrel roll” maneuver above the Poseidon — a modified Boeing 737 — and flying across the front of the US aircraft apparently to demonstrate that it was armed.
China believes the US should take measures to avoid such incidences in the future.
“If the United States really hopes to avoid impacting bilateral relations, the best course of action is to reduce or halt close surveillance of China,” Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said in a statement on the ministry’s website.