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The Pentagon has declassified 15 videos of ‘coercive and risky’ behavior by Chinese pilots against US jets.

The footage shows Chinese aircraft harassing US assets during lawful flights in international airspace by shooting flares, ‘flashing their weapons’ and flying as close as 20 feet.

The maneuvers are among 180 instances of such behavior which have taken place since the Fall of 2021, more incidents than in the two preceding decades.

They also form part of what US officials believe to be a ‘centralized and concerted campaign’ to challenge American operations in Indo-Pacific region.

One shocking video from July 12 shows a Chinese People’s Liberation Army fighter jet deploying eight flares just 900 feet from a US plane above the East China Sea.

The Pentagon declassified 15 videos from the last 12 months that show Chinese jets harassing US pilots 

Another video taken on July 7 shows a Chinese plane hovering just 20 feet away from a US fighter above the South China Sea.

Similarly, a video captured on February 15 shows a Chinese plane a mere 70 feet away. The aircraft is so close the US pilot is able to clearly film the Chinese pilot. 

One of the most flagrant incidents took place on June 22 and involved a Chinese jet ‘flashing its weapons’ at a US pilot before swearing at them over the radio. In a description, the Pentagon said the Chinese asset was ‘approaching a distance of just 40 feet before repeatedly flying above and below the US aircraft and flashing its weapons. 

‘After the US operator radioed the PLA fighter jet, the PLA pilot responded using explicit language, including an expletive.’

And in May, US pilots caught the moment they were shunted around their cockpit after a Chinese jet buzzed past the nose of their plane.

The clip shows the Chinese jet approaching in the distance before zooming past the front of the US plane.

The maneuvers forces the US pilots to fly through the Chinese jet’s wake turbulence, which causes the cockpit to shudder and jolt.

One video from June 22 shows a Chiense fighter jet flying just 40 feet away from a US asset flash its weapons. When challenged the Chinese pilot reportedly swore at the US pilots over the radio

Chinese planes have been filmed flying as close as 20 feet from US jets in what has been branded ‘risky and coercive’ behavior

The incidents have been described by Pentagon officials as ‘coercive and risky’ that sits below ‘unsafe and unprofessional’ in the official classification scale.

Head of US Indo-Pacific Command Adm. John Aquilino said a subset of the 180 instances have been ‘unsafe and unprofessional.’

‘What we’ve seen since 2021 is a set of actions that have brought airplanes much closer together than are comfortable for those in the cockpit,’ he said. 

He highlighted a 2001 incident where a Chinese fighter collided with a US Navy spy plane, forcing the American jet to make an emergency landing in China.

The crash killed the Chinese pilot and left the American crew temporarily detained.

‘People’s lives are at risk,’ Aquilino said. ‘One accident is too many. We went through it in 2001.’

Assistant Defense Secretary for the Indo-Pacific Ely Ratner described how Chinese jets have flown dangerously close to the US assets at ‘hundreds of miles an hour.’ 

He called the incidents a ‘significant concern.’

Discussing the figures, he said: ‘That’s nearly 200 cases where PLA operators have performed reckless maneuvers or discharged chaff or shot off flares or approached too rapidly or too close to US aircraft — all as part of trying to interfere with the ability of US forces to operate safely.’

One encounter in May saw US pilots jolted around their cockpit after a Chinese jet buzzed past their nose forcing them to fly through its wake turbulence

Chiense jets have been flying close to US planes at ‘hundreds of miles an hour’ according to Assistant Defense Secretary for the Indo-Pacific Ely Ratner

He added the figure rises to around 300 when intercepts against other allied aircraft are taken into account. 

‘The bottom line is this type of operational behavior can cause accidents, and dangerous accidents can lead to inadvertent conflict,’ Ratner said. 

It comes amid mounting tensions between the US and China, which were evidenced in June when Chinese officials declined a meeting between defense chief Li Shangfu and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Singapore.

Relations around airspaces have been particularly strained since the US shot down a suspected Chinese spying device in February.

The Chinese government insisted the aircraft was a weather balloon that was blown off course and refuted any suggestion they were spying.

The videos and images have been declassified ahead of the annual Chinese Military Power Report the Pentagon submits to Congress. 

The report is expected to detail the soaring levels of Chinese harassment against US assets. 

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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