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U.S.: Chinese fighter jet carries out "unsafe" intercept of U.S. plane

U.S.: Chinese jet approached in "unsafe manne... 01:28

A Chinese fighter jet carried out an "unsafe" intercept of a U.S. reconaissance plane in international airspace over the East China Sea, the National Security Council confirmed to CBS News.

A spokesperson for U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement to CBS News that on a routine patrol by two Chinese J-10s, one of the intercepting Chinese jets had an unsafe excessive rate of closure on an RC-135 aircraft.

"Initial assessment is that this seems to be a case of improper airmanship, as no other provocative or unsafe maneuvers occurred. The Department of Defense is addressing the issue with China in appropriate diplomatic and military channels," the spokesperson said.

The intercept took place on the very same day that Secretary of State John Kerry met with China's Xi Jinping to discuss rising military and economic tensions between the two powers.

The close call is the latest skirmish between U.S. and Chinese aircraft.

Last month, two Chinese military aircraft came within 50 feet of a U.S. military aircraft over the South China Sea in an "unsafe" intercept, CBS News' national security correspondent David Martin reported.

The pilot of the U.S. aircraft, an EP-3, reported it as an unsafe intercept by the Chinese J-11s and descended couple hundred feet to avoid a potential collision.

It occurred east of Hainan Island and south of Hong Kong. it was the first "unsafe" Chinese intercept of an American plane since 2014.

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