The US military said on Thursday that a Chinese fighter jet

flew dangerously within 20 feet (six meters) of a large US Air Force surveillance plane over the South

China Sea.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the incident took place on 21 December.

A Chinese Navy J-11 fighter pilot "performed an unsafe maneuver during the interception of a US Air Force RC-135 aircraft."

The statement said that the Chinese pilot flew in front of the nose of the American aircraft and within 20 feet.

"RC-135 forced to avoid collision".

The RC-135 was "conducting routine operations over the South China Sea in lawful international airspace."

This incident happened when China sent large groups of warplanes towards Taiwan (over the sea) for a show of force.

Late last week, China flew 71 warplanes, including dozens of fighter jets, in military exercises around Taiwan.

In one of the biggest actions since Beijing deployed military aircraft in Taiwan's air defense identification zone.

The People's Liberation Army said it had conducted a "strike drill" on Sunday in response to unspecified "provocation" and "collusion" between the United States and Taiwan.

There have been more than 1,700 such incursions so far this year, compared to 969 in 2021, according to an AFP database.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said it recorded about 380 incursions in 2020.

(This news has not been edited by NDTV team. It is published directly from syndicate feed.)

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