BEIJING, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Defense Ministry has accused the U.S. military of "close-in reconnaissance" in China's airspace in response to U.S. criticism of a Chinese jet intercepting a U.S. Navy patrol plane last Tuesday.
"The site of the incident is 220 km from China's Hainan Island, rather than the same distance from Hawaii or Florida of the United States," ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said at a regular news briefing on Thursday.
It is not "a Chinese intercept" but "U.S. close-in reconnaissance."
The Pentagon had claimed that China's meeting of its plane was "dangerous."
"What I need to stress is that the U.S. side has kept talking about the technical issues like the distance between the two aircraft, but ignored a policy issue of highly frequent close-in reconnaissance activities against China," Yang said.
According to the spokesman, one U.S. anti-submarine plane and one patrol aircraft flew into airspace about 220 km east of China's Hainan Island on the morning of Aug. 19, at which point a Chinese fighter jet took off to identify the aircraft in a standard operation.
(To stay up to date with the latest China news, follow XHNews on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/XHNews and Xinhua News Agency on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/XinhuaNewsAgency.)