An armed Chinese fighter jet passed within 30 feet of a U.S. Navy surveillance plane flying in international airspace, Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said on Friday.
The incident, which took place Aug. 19, involved several passes near the slower-moving P-8 plane about 135 miles east of Hainan island, Kirby said.
He labeled the actions of the Chinese pilot "aggressive and unprofessional." The Pentagon has expressed its "strong objections" with the Chinese government over the maneuvers.
In one pass, the Chinese fighter showed the P-8 pilot the belly of the aircraft to show its weapons.