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US surveillance plane in close shave with Chinese jet

The US has lodged a formal diplomatic protest after a Chinese jet flew within 20-30 feet of a US Navy patrol plane in international air space near Japan on Tuesday.

A US Navy P-8 Poseidon similar to the one that had a close shave with a Chinese jet Credit: REUTERS/Greg Wood/Pool

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said today that the jet performed "acrobatic manoeuvres around" the US plane, including flying wingtip-to-wingtip about 9 metres from it.

The US Navy P-8 Poseidon, an anti-submarine and reconnaissance plane, was flying around 135 miles (217 km) east of Hainan Island, site of a sensitive Chinese submarine base.

Ben Rhodes, deputy White House national security adviser, said: "We have communicated directly to the Chinese government our objection to this type of action."