Chinese fighter aircraft intercepted a U.S. Navy plane a couple of hundred miles southeast of Hong Kong this week, U.S. officials tell NBC News.
A Chinese J-10 aircraft flew about 200 yards in front of the P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft, making quick and erratic turns, restricting the plane's ability to maneuver, one official said. The Navy deemed the actions "unsafe."
A third US defense official said the intercept took place Thursday over the South China Sea. There were two J-10 jets, the official said, and one came within 100 feet of the American plane.
The U.S. has in the past objected to China's expansion into the South China Sea, which sits between China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam.