THE NATIONAL INTEREST — For the second time in a month, a Chinese fighter jet has made an unsafe approach to an American military aircraft.
This time, a Chinese air force J-10 fighter intercepted a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace over the East China Sea. The Chinese fighter approached at high speed at the same altitude, and reportedlyclosed to within a hundred feet of the converted airliner.
Not only did the Chinese intercept occur in the wake of last September’s much-ballyhooed “Rules of Behavior for Safety of Air-to-Air Encounters” between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China, but it also occurred even as Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew were in Beijing as part of the Strategic & Economic Dialogue talks.
The Chinese are likely stepping up their activities in expectation of a ruling in the coming months from the Permanent Court of Arbitration on Chinese claims over the South China Sea.
The Philippines has filed with the Permanent Court of Arbitration regarding Chinese claims over almost the entire South China Sea; Beijing has rejected the legitimacy of the court to rule, and made clear it will ignore any findings by the court. In an interesting redefinition of “unilateral,” Beijing has condemned Manila’s filing with the international court as a “unilateral act,” exacerbating tensions in the region.
• THE CHINESE HACKERS IN THE BACK OFFICE — NY TIMES