US scorns intercept by Chinese jets of US radiation sniffing plane

A Chinese fighter jet conducted a barrel roll over a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance plane flying in worldwide airspace above the Yellow Sea on Wednesday, according to a U.S. official.

The US Air Force operates two WC-135 jets from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska that regularly fly to north-east Asia, CNN reported. The report added that the crew of the U.S. aircraft described the intercept as "unprofessional".

"The WC-135 was operating in accordance with global law", air force spokeswoman Lt. Col. Lori Hodge said.

"The issue is being addressed with China through appropriate diplomatic and military channels", said Air Force spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Lori Hodge.

The Sukhoi Su-30 jets came within 150 feet of the WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft, which "sniffs" the atmosphere for signs of nuclear activity. The collected samples can be analyzed to determine exactly what occurred.

China's suspicion of U.S. activity near the resource-rich worldwide waters off its coast has repeatedly led to tensions between the two countries.

The four-engine United States plane looks for airborne evidence of possible nuclear tests.

One of the Chinese jets came as close as 150ft (45m) to the U.S. aircraft, According to USA officials cited by CNN.

Joshua Pollack, editor of the USA -based Nonproliferation Review, said China may have mistaken the WC-135 for another US spy plane, but noted that Beijing is extremely sensitive about American military flights in the area.

Since the encounter in February, US officials explained that these incidents between the two nations were rare.

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