The US military said on Tuesday that a Chinese fighter jet approached a US Air Force jet within 20 feet (6 meters) and forced it to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision over the South China Sea.

The incident, which involved a Chinese Navy J-11 fighter jet and a US Air Force RC-135 aircraft, took place on Dec. 21, the US military said in a statement.

Beijing often uses the so-called nine-dash line to justify its apparent historical claim to much of the South China Sea. He ignored the decision of the international tribunal in 2016, which declared this claim unfounded.

“US Joint Forces Indo-Pacific is for a free and open Indo-Pacific and will continue to fly, sail and operate at sea and in international airspace with due regard for the safety of all ships and aircraft in accordance with international law,” the statement added .

At a meeting with his Chinese counterpart in November, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin raised the need for better communications in crisis situations and also noted what he called the dangerous behavior of Chinese military aircraft.

In June, the Australian Department of Defense said that a Chinese fighter jet dangerously intercepted an Australian military spy plane in the South China Sea in May.

Australia claimed that the Chinese aircraft flew very close in front of the RAAF aircraft and released a “chaff bundle” containing small pieces of aluminum that hit the Australian aircraft’s engine.

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Eddie Hudson is an Entertainment News Reporter and Fashion Stylist. Graduated with a degree in Television Production from Howard University. He is an award-winning entertainment news reporter at 24PalNews and credits his upbringing and passion for helping others as the foundation for his success.

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