(New York Times) A Chinese fighter jet flew within 30 feet of a Navy surveillance and reconnaissance plane this week in international airspace just off the Chinese coast, the Pentagon said Friday.
The encounter, known as an intercept, was "very, very close, very dangerous," said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.
The Pentagon filed a diplomatic complaint with the People's Liberation Army on Friday morning, Defense Department officials said. As of Friday afternoon, it had not received a reply.
Advertisement - story continues below
The episode, which occurred on Tuesday, began with the Chinese warplane flying closely underneath the Navy's P-8 Poseidon. It then moved parallel to the naval plane, with the wingtips of the two aircraft separated by less than 30 feet.
As a final maneuver, the Chinese fighter executed a barrel roll, apparently to show off its weapons payload to the American pilot. A barrel roll is just as it sounds: A fighter jet rolls over and then levels out. Admiral Kirby called it an aggressive move