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A Chinese fighter jet came within 500 feet of a Navy plane with CNN and NBC News crew aboard on Friday amid escalating tensions.

The US Navy surveillance plane was flying over the South China Sea in international airspace when a warning came over the radio.

“No approaching any more or you will pay full responsibility,” said a voice from a ground station belonging to China’s air force, NBC News reported.

The NBC News reporter aboard said the Chinese fighter jet got close enough to where she could see the pilots.

More from NBC News:

The U.S. Navy plane had been in the air over the South China Sea for a few hours when a warning came crackling over the radio.

Soon after, a Chinese J-11 fighter jet appeared about 500 feet off the left wing, flying beside the American P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for well over an hour as it passed over mostly uninhabited islands that are claimed by both China and its neighbors.

U.S. officials said encounters like the one witnessed by NBC News on Friday, though professional, are becoming more frequent as Beijing and Washington step up their campaigns for influence in the Pacific. The strategically important South China Sea is an increasingly prominent stage for the spiraling tensions between the world’s two largest economies, which have clashed over everything from Taiwan to the war in Ukraine.

Inside the plane, U.S. Navy officers sat at about half-dozen computer stations, analyzing radar images from powerful specialized cameras affixed to the outside of the aircraft as it made way around the Paracel Islands across the South China Sea, before returning to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.


Recall, a Chinese fighter jet came within 20 feet of American Military Aircraft in December.

According to a statement by US officials, the Chinese fighter pilot “performed an unsafe maneuver” while flying close to an Air Force plane.

The American pilot was lawfully flying over the South China Sea when a Chinese fighter pilot came too close and buzzed the American military aircraft, according to a statement by US Indo-Pacific Command Public Affairs.

Chinese fighter jet buzzes American military aircraft on December 21, 2022

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