And we make excuses for them.
A U.S. spy plane conducting a routine patrol over international waters in the East China Sea on Tuesday was intercepted by two Chinese fighter jets.
U.S. military officials in the Pacific told Reuters that one of the Chinese planes came within “an unsafe excessive rate of closure” to the U.S. aircraft, but blamed the incident on “improper airmanship, as no other provocative or unsafe maneuvers occurred.”
The altercation underscores the geopolitical power struggle in maritime Asia between the U.S. and China. Beijing has claimed most of the contested reefs, rocks and islets of the South China Sea as its own territory. But Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have competing claims to various parts of the region.
Beijing responded to the incident by accusing Washington of “deliberately hyping up the issue of the close surveillance of China by U.S. military aircraft,” according to a statement quoted by Reuters.