It has happened again within one week. Two Chinese Fighter Jets intercepted an American surveillance aircraft as it was on a routine mission in the International Airspace over the South China Sea. The Chinese aircraft were involved in maneuvers that are categorized as unsafe.

The aircraft involved in this episode were Chinese fighter jets and an American spy plane and one of the Chinese fighters flew very near to the U.S. plane and carried out multiple turns which put a restriction on the movements of the Navy plane of the United States.

Details of the aerial encounter

CNN reports that Gary Ross, Commander of the US Navy, has confirmed that the actions of the Chinese fighter jets can be interpreted as not only unsafe but also unprofessional. He added that the U.S. will go into the details and pursue the matter through official channels with the Chinese government.

He has added that the U.S. operates regularly in the Asia-Pacific region and its area of operation includes the South China Sea and while conducting its operations it goes strictly by the international law and it is at liberty to fly, sail and operate as long as it remains within the boundaries of international airspace.

There was an earlier similar incident the previous week when two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a US Air Force radiation detection plane.

That was above the East China Sea. There also the crew of the Chinese fighter aircraft behaved in an unprofessional manner.

The blame game

China blames the United States of conducting frequent surveillance by its military ships and aircraft. In their opinion, such actions are to be blamed for mid-air interceptions and America should put a stop to surveillance activities of this nature so that incidents like the one over the South China Sea are avoided.

Incidentally, on the same day, a US Navy destroyer sailed close to a disputed South China Sea island that is under the control of China. The destroyer was the USS Dewey and it sailed very close to Mischief Reef located in the Spratly Island chain. China reacted to the incident by sending across two Chinese frigates to warn USS Dewey since it had entered Chinese waters "without permission."

In the world of today, every country has secrets related, especially, to its defense preparedness and will go to any length to safeguard them and, hence, are wary of prying eyes.

Therefore, it is natural that they would be suspicious of activities that are connected to aerial surveillance which offers the other side an opportunity to peep beyond the boundaries of the opponent.

They look at it as a violation of international airspace and react by dispatching their aircraft to intercept. The problem is acuter when big powers are involved because they invest heavily to upgrade their military assets or add new items to their inventory and would not like to part with these secrets.