The U.S. Defense Department says a Chinese fighter jet has conducted a "dangerous intercept" with a U.S. warplane off the coast of China.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby, says the Chinese jet made several close passes, coming within 10 meters of the U.S. Navy jet.
He also said Friday that it did a roll maneuver near the U.S. plane, a P-8 Poseidon jet.
"The Chinese jet also passed the nose of the P-8 at 90 degrees with its belly toward the P-8 Poseidon, we believe to make a point of showing its weapons load. And, then they flew directly under and alongside the P-8, bringing their wingtips, as it said, to within 20 feet and then conducted a roll," the spokesman said.
Kirby said the incident took place Tuesday in international waters, 200 kilometers east of Hainan Island.
The U.S. has lodged a protest to China over the incident.
"We have registered our strong concerns to the Chinese about the unsafe and unprofessional intercept which posed a risk to the safety and well-being of the air crew and was inconsistent with customary international law," Kirby said, adding that the U.S. jet was on a routine patrol.