A Chinese Aircraft Performs ‘Unsafe’ Maneuver Near US Spy Plane - Task & Purpose

A Chinese Aircraft Performs ‘Unsafe’ Maneuver Near US Spy Plane

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An air-to-air front view of an RC-135 Stratolifter aircraft from the 306th Strategic Wing during a refueling mission over the North Sea.

An air-to-air front view of an RC-135 Stratolifter aircraft from the 306th Strategic Wing during a refueling mission over the North Sea.

The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that a Chinese aircraft performed an unsafe maneuver on Sept. 15 during an air intercept of a U.S. spy plane. The announcement comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a week-long visit to the U.S. and may underscore rising tensions between the two powers.

The incident, which involved an American RC-135 reconnaissance plane, occurred roughly 80 miles east of Shandong peninsula in the Yellow Sea, explained Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook.

"The pilot reported that he felt ... the aircraft passed in front of his nose in an unsafe fashion,” Cook said. “There's no indication this was a near collision."

This is not the first time that U.S. and Chinese aircraft have gotten too close for comfort. In August 2014, a Chinese warplane flew as close as 20 to 30 feet to a U.S. Navy aircraft, and then conducted a barrel roll over the plane. However, Cook said the two incidents were not similar.