Chinese Fighters Intercept US Spy Plane, Pentagon Confirms

A JH-7 fighter jet of the Chinese Air Force takes part in the joint air exercise, August 24, 2015. (Xinhua photo)

The U.S. Defense Department on Tuesday confirmed that Chinese fighter jets recently made an “unsafe” interception of an American spy plane in the Asia-Pacific region.

A pair of JH-7 fighter-bombers, known in NATO parlance as Flounders, from the People’s Liberation Army came within 500 feet of an RC-135 from the U.S. Air Force last week over the Yellow Sea, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

The incident was confirmed by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.

“The department is reviewing a report that came in from [U.S. Pacific Command] regarding as you said a Sept. 15 intercept of a U.S. RC-135 by the People’s Republic of China,” he said in response to a question from a reporter during a briefing at the Pentagon.

The incident happened about 80 miles east of the Shandong Peninsula, Cook said.

“One of the maneuvers conducted by the Chinese aircraft in this intercept was perceived as unsafe by the RC-135 aircrew,” he said. “Right now, there’s no indication that this was a near collision.”

There are multiple variants of the RC-135 in the U.S. fleet. The RC-135V/W Rivet Joint is the Air Force’s primary signals intelligence aircraft. It supports theater and national-level personnel with near real-time, on-scene intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities, according to the equipment guide.

Pacific Command is headed by Adm. Harry Harris, who last week testified before Congress that the U.S. Navy should sail near China’s manmade islands in the South China Sea.

“I agree that the South China Sea is no more China’s than the Gulf of Mexico is Mexico’s,” Harris said during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“I think that we must exercise our freedom of navigation throughout the region and part of our responsibility as Pacific Command commander is to give options to the president and the secretary,” he added, referring to President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. “And those options are being considered and will execute as directed by the president and the secretary.”

The last time the sea service conducted a freedom of navigation operation within a dozen nautical miles of China’s artificial islands in the region was three years ago, according to David Shear, assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs at the Pentagon.

Chinese navy ships this month were spotted off the coast of Alaska for the first time. The discovery came the same week China held a massive military parade in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Japanese surrender during World War II — and highlights its ambition to become a global military power.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • Guest…

    That cost us dearly as we were unable to properly destroy classified equipment and documentation.

  • Capt Obv

    We need to start sending SR-71s over the Strait of Taiwan to teach them a lesson.

    • Ming the Merciless

      They’re retired and no politician has the brass ones to stand up to them anyway, but I’m an optimist.

    • Kamz

      wish it was that easy

    • Temp

      We have what are called Satellites now

      • bbabbitt

        So what were the RC125s doing?

        • blight_asdf

          SIGINT collection?

    • joemama

      you right we China should have shot it down out of the sky !

    • Guest

      Satelite images are better than SR71’s.

    • guest

      Send in the drones.

    • Mark

      Need to un-retire one first.

    • Carly

      Nuke China while you can. Otherwise in less than 10 years from now, they will have beaten the US on both economic and military fronts.

    • edgar

      That’s right, Captain. Another war! Great idea! We’re America dammit! Let’s teach everyone a lesson!!!

    • blight_adsfas

      We need to send Taiwan more weapons…that’ll teach them a lesson.

    • @joseaortiz1958

      Just to let United Sttaes that it should not get involve in somebody else business._This is China not USA

    • curly

      You’re an idiot.Quit drinking the Obozo purple drank koolaid,trayvon

    • Hanson

      Let’s be objective, man. What if China send a spy plane 80 miles from Washington, I bet US air force will be more proactive to intercept it. It is US that are proactive instead of China… Like a man who is holding a gun in front of your house, you come out to check and try to protect your family, but you are blamed that you should not have come out to check… Does it sounds ridiculous? The media in US is biased…

      • IronV

        You miss the point. Noting wrong with interception and escort. The U.S. has no complaint about that. It’s the dangerous, irresponsible maneuvering and lack of professionalism that is the problem. As pointed out by other posters, one of their idiot pilots collided with one of our recon planes and lost his life pulling that kind of garbage.

    • SPr Mike

      Uh, the SR-71 “Blackbird” was retired from service many years ago. I guess that you hadn’t heard.

    • NMI

      The SR-71 is a retired aircraft. As awesome as it is/was, it can’t be used.

    • Len

      SR71s are retired

    • Haven

      that’d be fine but the Black Birds are both decomishioned and sitting on a drydocked aircraft carrier…

    • Retired 02

      SR 71s have been retired.

  • Zspoiler

    I would wonder if the Chinese would be so bold if we had fighter escorts with the RC-135s .Especially a couple of F-22s.

  • Lars

    chinese planes and ships made out of spam cans…easy to destroyed by just one .44 caliber….

  • vincelee76

    . china You detain hundreds of thousands of democratic protesters and made them disappear. China jails journalists, and human rights laywers, recently 80 human right lawyers are all arrested, and so is the Nobel Prize winner, he and his family all disappeared, and so is Ai Wei Wei the famous artist, he was arrested for 4 years. china government is currently the biggest gangster in asia, and illegally arrest anyone who disagree with them, and make them disappear. And you wonder why the Americans are trying to keep an eye on you?? Who the heck can ever trust commies that even treats their own people like garbage?? You darn right the Americans have better keep an eye on thugs like you commie china.

  • real7777

    Soft WW3 started and USA will destroying Russia/China economy. Cyber war where china stole USA military/private company secrets already. Petrodollar, currency war, oil war, BRICS(brazil,russia,china,s africa),AIIB,ukraine,ISIS,Yemen
    With money, fake oppressive communist got aggressive with 1000 year china dream to takeover the world. According to official Chinese media, China have “6 wars in 50 year” plan: Taiwan,Spratly Islands,Southern Tibet, Senkaku/Okinawa,Outer Mongolia,Russia
    Chinese Great cannon, Assassin’s Mace
    China selling mind destroying illegal synthetic drug to americans(and world).
    There are 500,000 chinese cyber spy/censor 50 cent army.
    S Korean VANK(financed by S korea, china, and some ethnic koreans).
    5000 N korea cyber force and attack on sony and facebook account
    Attack on russia economy with low oil price.
    Russians invades parts of Ukraine
    China/S Korea started newly intensified campaign of Japan bashing after Aoyama disclosed there are huge potential for gas/oil around water off japan.
    Chinese aggression in senkaku and south china sea.
    Chinese raid in south japan islands coral(probably installed sonar or damaged japanese sonar, or something sinister).
    China is building ports all around world as well as have presence. In japan, china is probably funding okinawan independence movement as well as usa base movements and local newspaper.
    USA spies on everyone, especially internet
    USA assassinate using drones
    Google my blog “real7777 china communist” for details, pictures,wiki, youtube link etc. If there’s any error let me know so I can fix them.
    Today, there are around 200,000 abduction per year in china plus 2nd child non-citizens and 3 million labor/sex/bride slaves in china and communities are ok knowing it since it was old chinese tradition.
    Mao was child molester who had many under aged virgin girls.
    Qing were manchu and after communist genocide manchu area became han majority similar to Tibet and Uighur are getting replaced by han. Mao had to kill few tens of million EDUCATED manchu who were used to good life provided by Japan.
    Google “real7777 nemoto guningtou” to find out how japanese saved ROC/Taiwan from fake oppressive communist.
    China is in a BIG trouble. USA is going to replace USA Aegis software by buying Japanese version. This means that spying by china might be partial cause of F35 budget overrun and Aegis Combat system replacement which probably means us$1 trillion damage.
    Irony is USA sabotaged Japanese TRON operating system so it can help Microsoft Windows with trade deficit reduction and spying, but now USA need Aegis on TRON.
    It is bad enough that China try to undermine dollar with BRICS/AIIB.

    • Make My Point

      Better hope TRUMP wins the presidency.

      • dock1990

        hell yeah

    • peaceman

      America and its so called allies should know 20 century is different from 19 century when some countries attacked and invaded others.
      Why is it that America and its allies in Asia don’t want to accept that china is supper power country.

  • Obama

    American plane is just asking to get shot down

  • Kim

    This obama government weaken U.S position in the world. Need to get control back.

    • holler

      republican who started this and please dont blame everything on Obama, because he is black.

    • Jowl

      China is like a toy, leave em alone. Do they poses…. 3000 Nukes at the Ready.

  • ObamaSon

    The US would shoot down a Chines Spy plane if it flew within 200 nautical miles of the US coast.

  • Commies

    But at the end of a day, Capitalists still want to do business with commies China.

  • jing khan

    Military canot do anything now as long as KING O still in the WH.

  • jay

    How would you feel, if the Russian or Chinese send a spy off the California coast?

  • Whatever

    There are whole region of many countries is rice eater. Make sure you single China out of all. Not many rice eater likes China

  • aaa

    next time Chinese jet will spy US coast just 8 miles away.. LOL

  • Steve

    What goes around comes around. The US sends spy planes to China, China sends spy planes to the US. What is so difficult that so many morons can’t understand. Its okay for one country to do it but not for the other. Way to be open minded people.

    • quark

      Excellent and fair point! This article is really not a story.

    • HarryTruman

      Sorry but I don’t want our country to be “open minded” towards other countries that steal our military and commercial technology and try to obliterate us as a financial and world power. I hope this doesn’t interfere with your limp wristed, submissive, flaming liberal PC agenda.

      • CMJ

        You don’t think our spy plane was trying to steal their military secrets? Double standards are ridiculous.

    • @GreensboroVet

      Chinese Intel equipment can’t reach as far/deep inland as well as U S equipment.

  • lucas

    China military hardware are cosmetics in appearance easily detected and destroyed when in confrontation with its adversaries who are capable to steer its bullying and intimidation.

  • pragmatic 38

    Get Blundering Bush the Buffoon to develop a Master Deception to invade China…….
    ………………………….Just a Thought!!!

  • josef

    Chinese for sure.

  • James Bailey

    The admiral needs to understand the South China Sea belongs to China. Maybe he forgot the reason for naming it the South China Sea.

  • dave

    guess who we will be at war with next

  • Dirty Mike

    Thats what you get for flying so close to China. China should just shoot them down!!

  • Leon Suchorski

    The Chinese pilot just wanted to be close enough to show his facebook ID and get new friends.

  • Adam

    So the best China could send up to challenge our spy plane was something NATO calls a “Flounder”. LOL Hows the stalled robot on the Moon working for you? Maybe one of those Chinese Generals who bought their Position will come up with some military strategy to keep us away. O look out!!! They have am Aircraft Carrier!!! Bought from the Russians and 30 years old. lol. your killin me!!

  • Guest

    Charlie Chan

  • Guest

    Where did you learn English
    Sentence Structure? China?

  • Shoot it down

    80miles off the coast of China! Shoot it down damn it!!

  • mike fitzgibbons

    we should be greatfull they didn’t shoot it down as we may have if the situation were reversed. they have every right to protect their airspace as do we. we got caught……… what is so important that me or any nation should spy?

  • john rambo

    shoot them down

  • Rod Iron

    As long as they were in international air space then there’s no harm. If the Chinese want to follow that’s fine too.

  • dave smith

    During the so called-war betwixt us (.U.S.) the testerone between our pilots and Soviet Elint/patrol bombers reached a nasty hot-point, so it is understood that both sides actually met, sat down, and discussed an agreement whereby both recognized the other side’s reconnaissance assets would continue keeping an eye on each other! This also applied to pilots becoming too aggressive…yes, indeed one case occurred in the early 1960s when a hot TU-16 pilot treated his bomber like a fighter, and caught a wingtip in the water, thus cutting himself and his crew off from future Vodka drinking parties! It occurred among U.S. Fleet maneuvers. Then our hotshot Navy pilots took to banging their fighter wingtips against the bomber wingtips…see where this could go?
    Hashing out some protocols appeared to stop such reckless behavior from the young bucks on both sides.

    Needs to be done with the Chinese, and if they refuse…well, sooner or later, they too, will have a plane on patrol or a reckless fighter pilot push things too far, and someone will simply take him on and maybe, there will be Chinese virgins waiting to salve his wounded ego, once he realizes he is retired from the physical realm like the pilot who tangled with a Navy P-3 Elint back not long ago. Nuff said.

  • se7ensnakes

    Every so often the nations of the earth start to amass armies and military equipment. Allies are created and agendas clarified. The bankers finance both sides and some trigger event causes the start of the war. Million of people die and cities are left in total destruction. This is happening right now

  • se7ensnakes

    There are families whose members were born extremely rich. The money that you hold were created by them and we as a society owe interest on that money. They are so rich that they are able to buy anything that they want. Once a person reaches that point they need something other than material goods to stimulate them. They, then, turn their eyes on power and world domination. This is the only thing that makes their life worth living. We have, through our lack of participation, created these psychopaths. And now without firing a shot or any man dying in the fields, they have completely captured the government and to some degree, the nation. But is Russia also captured? One look at the verbage of their central bank webpage you will quickly recognized the same double speak verbage that our federal reserve banks use. The question is are we going to start another world war? Are these families going to fund both sides of the war? Do they see it as necessary to reduce world population?

  • emmanuel agbor

    It is very interesting to see how patriotic Americans can be when it comes to reacting to Chinese who are simply trying to protect their own backyard. Patriotism in itself is a very good thing, throw away your guns and stop killing black people and white people in your own country. It is only then that the world shall see how much you love your country.

  • Norm

    This is absolutely not new, it happens ALL THE TIME. I read a comment someone posted here about the Chinese pilot getting close enough to “show his facebook ID and get new friends”. I’ve talked to people who have seen them put their e-mail addresses against their cockpit windows. This kind of thing is normal.

  • ksm

    China, a mad dog in every way.

  • HarryTruman

    When did Obama purge military men from the Pentagon and replace them with limp-wristed, timid, high-paid bureaucrats more interested in their stinking pensions than defending the country?! I must have missed that week of presidential treachery - there have been so many.

    China deserves to be dominant. They have proven themselves to be the alpha males. The US has become a feckless PC suck up. I never thought I’d see the day. So glad my Dad ( a radio man in the Pacific during WWII) is not alive to see our weak-kneed, cowardly posture in the face of predictable aggression from otherwise aggressors that we’ve allowed to advance against the west, and us. The Pentagon is now officially yet another goofball wing of the White House and serves no useful purpose except to pay bloated salaries.

    I won’t be voting in the 2016 election. It’s pointless.

  • NinjaStars

    Okay, they intercepted it, but did they make a touchdown? Obviously US is making some bad plays. Who’s the quarterback here?

  • ERIC

    USA should stop arrogance behaviuor which can cause disaster to the world e.g,First started the Iraq war which was based on weapons of mass destruction theory,destruction of Arab countries, indroducing wrong idears based on wrong democracy theories in the world,dangerous conforntation actions and statements with coutries with massive nuclear weapons.

  • John

    A lot of “tough boys”talk. Just stay out of areas where the USA has no right to be; it only causes problems for the rest of the world (See Panama, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria etc) Just improve yourzelves before critisizing others!

  • Marzon

    America want to test China ability to detect their spy plane and get caught by China fighter. Spy Game has begun.

  • JINX


  • Ronto

    The Chinese having been trying to become the most dominant power for 5000 years. They still fail. They are not to be trusted, they are not our friends, and are not on our side. It really is going to happen when we will be against them. I sincerely hope they bring back ours jobs to the the U.S. We have supported their twisted views for far too long. The Chinese are right in line with Russians except they are more Godless and have absolutely no care for their people and animals alike. They’re powers that be are disgusting.

  • sean

    They can’t make a plastic toy without it breaking 5 minutes after some kid gets it from Walmart, how good do you think there 1 piece of crap recycled Russian aircraft carrier or planes are?

  • Fonseca

    does black life matter in US???????? what do you mean by democracy????? is it to all people to freely speak and them surveil them spying on everything they do, is it hunting down pacifists like Snowden and Assange? is it destroy the midle east set fire and deny refugees to flee to your country? Is it to allow same sex marriage? is it to spy and arrest a young Muslim Boy because Muslin can not hold technology? Is it to destroy any other Country that is trying to achieve development, or is it to back ditactors like the Saudis, and allow coup in Egipt.?

  • bigmonkey12

    we get spied on every day and never retaliate. look at Russia on the 4th of July and how close their bombers came, within 12 miles of our cost taunting our navy and air force. something will boil over soon and when it does all hell will break loose.

  • rick

    WW 3 in this century.

  • Leo

    I’m sure the Chinese President was elated about the news while currently on a official visit in the U.S. Dose not matter, the U.S. is digging their own grave .

  • H.Feng

    No worries. chinese military hardwares are Made in China. No reliability & durability, easy to destroy.

  • Truth

    As far as nations goes, any flaunting of military power is certain to provoke the other superpowers to be wary of its military presence. I don’t quite see the purpose of military demonstrations, except in that it boosts a country’s status as a potential killing machine. Yet both nation say that their military might is to promote world peace. Ironic enough?

  • dock1990

    sorry you wasted a perfectly great opportunity to have your own country but you stayed primitive in the ways of war so we took it

  • humnbeing

    If I’m not mistaken Native Americans migrated here. The funny thing is Native Americans don’t believe in property rights but, the first thing they say is get off my land , go figure?

  • Leo Johnson

    I remember when I was in the Navy I was stationed on the U.S.S.Hancock CVA 19 in the Gulf of Tonkin .Ghose Russian Bears would fly into our Operational area and we would send up a couple of -F-8’s to escort them out of the area.The pilots of the F-8’s said those Bear crewmembers who were in the side canopies of the aircraft would Flash them covers of a “Play Boy” magazine.

  • Leo Johnson

    The Chinese have been shooting down our “Spy Planes ” for years.In 1956 they shot one of our “Spy Planes down over the Strait’s of Taiwan’ Then in 1967 They shot down a EC121 Then in the last incident they forced down a P-3C Orion Patrol aircraft and all of these Aircfaft were flying in “International Air Space”.So They said”.

  • hooker1234

    Only a matter of time before there is an ‘incident’ that neither side can back down from.
    The time to take care of this problem was when China started building those islands a while back.
    Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines are now cut off…….
    This administration knew about it (or should have)
    Another example of the Obama administration leading from behind. Taking a position of power and turning it into a position of weakness……….
    You cant be in the most powerful position in the world and take ‘selfies’ , play golf, go on vacation and rename mountains all day and not think China would capitalize on it

  • hooker1234

    Interesting to note that when China sends up an interceptor it is never one of their top of the line jets. They also give the pilot just enough gas to intercept and come back quickly
    The reason for this? They are afraid of Chinese pilots defecting with a newer aircraft.
    Sad but true - China is a third world country with a lot of money (and debt)

  • thehorsecavalry

    The Chinese are expanding their envelop of comfort challenging US Air Force. Unfortunately, O will do nothing to scare the crap out of the Chinese back at them. We need to control O’s actions until the next president has been sworn into office. O is a zero on foreign policy, especially, flexing our capabilities right back at an incursion against our assets. It must give the deployed military personnel and their families great solace to know that if their loved ones are captured or killed that POTUS will do nothing except talk.

    • blight_adsfas

      The Soviets harassed and shot down numerous reconnaissance aircraft. We bounce their bombers all the time.

  • Ed C

    Shocked the pilot didn’t land the plane at a Chinese airbase so they could steal all out new technology.

  • RandyReally

    500 feet? come on…our military flies that close to each other on a regular bases. This is just poor news reporting, I am very surprised that the military actually released the info….based on the ignorance of the content, I suspect it is PsyOps people…if at all and they are about the most clueless people in the military other than the intelligence officers.

  • Lex

    Now is the chance to tell Mr. Xi in his face to BUZZ OFF other countries territory! Stop the illegal building of artificial military island in somebody’s 200 nautical mile EEZ(Exclusive Economic Zone) UNCLOS law of the Sea. In the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea.

  • soysucielo

    Better a bad peace than a good war. Still true this many years after it was first said.

  • Martin

    Only 80 miles to Shandong Peninsula!!!??? It’s so close to the mainland!!! For a plane, 80 miles almost means zero. What was US doing? I feel supervise the US spy plane was not shot down or at lease hit down.

    • blight_adsfas

      Many of those maritime boundaries date to old conventions before the flying age, let alone the jet age. Semantically 12 miles is almost horizon, and the limits of what could be enforced with a coast guard and coastal artillery. In the jet age, “influence” can be well over the horizon.

  • Franz

    We really wanna play with a hornet nest? Go to WW3 for this crap? Whatever the article say, the American people agrees. The power of the media. God bless America.

  • Tony43zz

    International airspace is just that.. Propaganda..Propaganda…Propaganda.. That’s all this is… Concerning the current state of our affairs, this don’t even make a blip on the radar.. We have enough internal issues to deal with in this United States to worry about a plane getting buzzed in International Airspace.. Fix our Debt, Fix our public living on welfare as a way of life, and secure our borders.. These are the “Radar Blips” that concern me.. A puckered pilot crying is of no consequence.. Suck it up.. It happens..

    • blight_adsfas

      Did this all the time during the Cold War. Wasn’t well known back then. Nothing new.

      Fingers crossed that people don’t have to die during these usual games of brinksmanship. In the meantime both countries have bigger fish to fry at home, but as we all know creating external enemies is a great distraction for domestic problems.

  • Kyle

    Why is this news? We intercept anything close to the US border all the time, just ask Russia. Pretty standard practice if the is something foreign or unknown in the skies, air force will go see what it is. The “Dangerous Maneuver” in this case, being within 500 ft, was probably the fighter fired a warning burst, “turn around, be shot down”

  • Mike

    A bold move for a country who’s president is still currently stateside until tomorrow…awwwwkwarrrd….

  • Troubadour

    There are spy satellites covering that area. The Pentagon is playing chicken with the Chinese.

  • Jacques

    President Xi will be in DC tomorrow. Ask him all the questions

  • Santi

    I don’t think the US will do something. Nothing was done on previous encounters. PLAN is getting boulder each time and bound to commit something worse.

  • Neoconvet

    I suppose Barry will talk and as usual do nothing about anything of any great national interest.

  • Chad

    Perhaps this event will be discussed at our state dinner with China this week? Our fearless leader will probably apologize for provoking the event. Do you think he’ll address China’s cyber attacks over dessert? I wonder how much tax payer monies are used to host this visit…

  • Stretch1931

    China is hacking our network and servers, stealing our information, and still a political and military threat to the US. Why do we (Americans) think it’s okay to continue to do business with them, and help support the growth of their country? Why hasn’t our own country’s government put the foot down, and say we will not allow dealings or any business with companies that do not align in our best interest? It’s like doing business with Syria in 2013 would have been a bad idea. Let’s think about this, and re-consider supporting the growth of their country when we feel as a nation that we are not able to trust them, or support their actions.

  • willy

    Please, lets not start a war with this current bumbling administration in charge.

  • Dave

    The ocean and sea do not belong to anyone nation beyond the 20 mile mark from their land. Freedom of navigation is the rule. Libya wanted to claim all the water almost to the shores of Italy. The US Navy sailed 20 miles off Libya’s shore to illustrate the principle of freedom of navigation. That principle has to be re-illustrated continously over time so no nation can make up their own rules.
    Any military that does not do reconnaissance is not fulfilling its mission to protect their country and defensive capability. Emotional references to “Spying” are naive. Shooting down a reconnaissance aircraft that is beyond 20 miles from shore is illegal.
    Russia wants to claim vast portions of the Arctic Ocean way beyond their land borders for themselves. Should we just go along with aggressive assertions?

  • Michael

    Very sad and disturbing to view so many comments from unpatriotic residents within our borders.

  • 9999unlimited

    the world needs to be unite, to teach a lesson to China. They are very dangerous after ISIS to this world. Unfortunate thing is no one is talking about the occupation of china in south china sea. Hope USA will help to the tiny countrys there.

  • steve

    Jeesh, how dare China check out the foreign aircraft loitering of it’s coast, that everybody knows was spying? 500 feet? That is not even a near miss, we would get much, much closer to the Russian planes doing similar things. American hypocrisy and exceptionalism at it’s finest.

    • Atomic Walrus

      I don’t think anybody is disputing the intercept. That’s fair game if you’re in a country’s air defense identification zone. The issue is that it sounds like one of the Chinese pilots was pulling dumb “Top Gun” stunts that posed a hazard to the RC-135.

  • Dr stragelove

    I´m afraid that i gone to take in charge from here ahead, Herr President

  • Pigeon

    The spy plane not from a neighboring country flying at a distance of 80 miles east of Shandong peninsula/Chinese coast. Koreans are scare of this encounter than anybody else; they obviously do not want this incident. The Chinese have all missiles ready for planes close to their coast. The spy plane just cannot spot them except the Chinese plane. The Chinese feel they have nothing to lose in this case. No surprise if something is lost from both sides with a wrong button.

  • Bruce Boggan

    I would think that they intercepted at low altitude… Spy planes fly at altitudes that fighter jets could not attain..

  • jstone

    Like has been said many times… Spying is done constantly by both sides, and it is more or less “accepted”. The US does adhere to the 12NM coastal limit that was set by a UN mandate (UNCLOS or something like that), and of course the Russians have been as well when they send their bombers our way. We intercept them, and escort them out of the airspace. The only thing the Chinese do that is notable is that their intercepts have been known to come dangerously close to the US aircraft.

    And there is no point in sending up fighter escorts. We know where their airbases are, we know they can detect our spy planes from a long way away, and we know they’ll send planes to intercept them. Chances are an airborne AWACS or GCI radar will detect them. Again, they know they aren’t going up there to shoot down the plane… it is an acceptable response to having a spy plane off of your coast.

  • Hanson

    Let’s be objective. What if China send a spy plane 80 miles from Washington, I bet US air force will be more proactive to intercept it. It is US that send spy plane thousands miles away from homeland to China’s coastline… It is actually US that is proactive instead of China… Like a man who is holding a gun in front of your house, you come out to check and try to protect your family, but you are blamed that you should not have come out … Does it sounds ridiculous? The media in US is biased… I feel like in US today that people tend to attribute everything wrong to China and put China as a easy target, which is dangerous to ignore the real problem and right solution.

  • omegatalon

    The US needs to arm their spy planes with 6-8 AIM-54 Phoenix air-to-air missiles as no one whether China or Russia will f_ck with an aircraft that can dispatch them in a heartbeat.

  • Asian_Spartan

    he he he he….too much speculation, U.S. and China are afraid to collide each other.

  • chris

    wwIII on the way and ppl are not stopping it. it has to be a group effort. there are millions of lives at stake, this is no longer agame or drill, there are a lot of factors that go into it.

    for instance, if we go to war, the usa array and others by allies, by far very large and sophisticated, much larger than published, will be wrenched from the hands of the incompetant. this is in fact what is occuring now due to their inaptitude and hope that they can strike the usa, by being jerks and inviting it. mostly the missiles never hit their mark. unfortunealty for the ruling elite the signal station that runs any of the master sats to slaves can be anywhere on earth. and codes changed seconds priot to a missile entering the danger zone. and shut out others. and with superior computing and security parameters, it is too late to overide. so big mouths from my last company be quick to point out my error of you forcing out verbage with your baby threats???? nah, guards are always to blame, no matter what my actions

  • Pete

    The sooner we deal with them the better. It’s time.

  • Cha

    USA should enforce freedom of navigation, that what America is all about. China never own Paracel islands and never will. Chinese Xi bullied neighbors and stole lands seas.usa never accept rules from China. Nuked islands. Problems solved

  • Sherpa23

    It seems inevitable we will lose a recon aircraft and crew over the Chinese manmade islands. The South China Sea is strewn with our Cold War unescorted Neptunes, Mercators, RB-29’s shoot down over international waters . We must escort the P-8’s and RC-135’s, its a matter of when not if one is shot down. Put an F-15 on each wing.

  • Roy

    China did the same thing any country would do, they sent fighters to let us know they knew we were there. We would have done the same thing. First of all you all assume the plane was spying with out knowing the actual mission the aircraft was on. First rule is never to assume anything. I always thought spy planes flew out of fighter reach altitude wise maybe this was not a spy mission after all. Just room for thought

  • Robert Powell

    the only reason that china gives a damn about the spratleys is they found out that british-hibernian oil found a extremely large oil puddle under them…the phillipines have been maintaining the nav aids for fifty years..