Wednesday, in an interview on Fox Business, retired Army Lt. Col. Daniel Davis responded to the incident last Friday when a Chinese fighter jet flew dangerously close to a US reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea, saying it was a “very risky” maneuver.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon revealed that a Chinese fighter jet flew an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” close to a US reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea last Friday, the Associated Press reported.
According to a statement from the US Indo-Pacific Command, the pilot of the Chinese J-16 “flew directly in front of the nose” of a US plane that was in international airspace conducting routine operations.
The Pentagon released the cockpit video from the RC-135 reconnaissance plane showing the Chinese jet approaching just in front before veering off. The turbulence from the jet’s wake is evident from the shaking of the video footage.
While appearing on Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria” on Wednesday, retired Lt. Col. Daniel Davis told host Maria Bartiromo that with tensions rising between China and the US, such risky maneuvers “could have a real impact if things go wrong.”
Davis said China is flexing its muscles to signal that it is “no longer the weak power” it once was. He said that the Biden administration must “get a handle on” the situation, adding that the US can’t continue as if it is business as usual or “things are going to continue to deteriorate” while “China gets more strong and confident.”
In a statement on Wednesday, Mao Ning, the spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, blamed “provocative and dangerous moves” from the United States for the “maritime security issues” in the region. She said Beijing is urging Washington to put an end to its “dangerous provocations.”
The Pentagon has repeatedly said that China’s military has grown far more aggressive in the last five years, frequently intercepting US aircraft and ships in the region.
China has often challenged military aircraft from the US and its allies, especially over the South China Sea. Confrontations of this kind led to an in-air collision in 2001 in which a Chinese plane was lost and the pilot was killed.