China is as belligerent as ever and two days back, two Chinese air force J-10 fighters intercepted an American #Reconnaissance Plane --an EP-3E flying in the #East China Sea. Two Chinese J-10 interceptors flew within 90 feet of the American plane and forced the American plane to take evasive action.

China justified the maneuver and claimed that the intercept of the American reconnaissance aircraft was essential for the safety and security of China. Beijing said that the American plane was carrying out a dangerous mission in the East China Sea, claiming that the intercepts were professional and that they wanted Americans to stop sending aircraft close to China.

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Most of the intercepts are generally professional but in this case, the safety of both aircraft was put in jeopardy, with the Chinese aircraft flying just 90 feet from the American plane, according to Reuters.

Older incident

A few years back a similar Intercept by a Chinese fighter led to a collision with an American surveillance plane and the Chinese pilot was killed. The American plane had to make an emergency landing on the Chinese controlled island of Hainan and that resulted in the crew being taken into custody. They were only released after an apology from America.

Aggressive China

China is now moving into an aggressive phase as it flexes its muscles all over the world by conducting a first ever naval exercise in the Baltic Sea with the Russian navy. China has also set up an overseas military base on the Horn of Africa at Djibouti and the Chinese navy has docking facilities in Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well.

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The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning is now patrolling the oceans and the #South China Sea as a mark of Chinese military prowess.

Chinese power play

China is building its military strength feverishly, with one pointed agenda to match the US Navy on a global scale. It has also militarized the South China Sea mainly because of the failure of the Americans to stop the Chinese build up which has now turned out to be a colossal blunder.

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has rightly stated that if America was serious, it could have sent 5 Aircraft carriers into the South China Sea and nipped the problem in the bud. One is also reminded of a statement by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in his book "Discovery of India" that a strong China is always an expansionist China.

Dangerous act

The Chinese intercept of the American plane was a brazen act fraught with danger and in this particular case, the conduct of the J-10 pilot was unprofessional and could have led to a collision.