US protests 'unprofessional' intercept by Chinese jets

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BEIJING (AP) - The U.S. Air Force says a pair of Chinese fighter jets conducted an "unprofessional" intercept of an Air Force radiation sniffing surveillance plane over the East China Sea.

Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Lt. Col. Lori Hodge said in a statement that the incident occurred Wednesday when a pair of Chinese SU-30 jets approached a WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft conducting a routine mission in international airspace in accordance with international law.

Hodge says the crew "characterized the intercept as unprofessional" and the issue is being addressed with China through "appropriate diplomatic and military channels."

China declared an air defense identification zone over a large section of the East China Sea in 2013, a move the U.S. called illegitimate and has refused to recognize.

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