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China denounces allegations of 'close flight' from Japan

2014-06-13 08:29 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

China on Thursday denounced Japan's accusations of Chinese fighter jets flying "abnormally close" to Japanese planes over the East China Sea, adding that the twisted facts from the Japanese side are the cause of bilateral security issues.

According to video footage and photos released by the Chinese defense ministry, a Japanese F-15 fighter jet approached within 30 meters of a Chinese jet, posing a great danger to the Chinese plane's safety.

China says the video footage counters the "false" accusation from Japan that stated that Chinese planes flew "abnormally close" to Japanese aircraft on Wednesday.

Geng Yansheng, spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defense, said Thursday that Japan's hyping of the event aims at exaggerating China's military threat.

"It was the second time that Japan falsely accused China after it made a similar statement on May 24. The move aims at deceiving the international community, smearing the image of China and inciting tensions in the region," Geng said

The defense ministry said that a Chinese jet was conducting a routine patrol in China's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea at around 10 am Wednesday morning when it was approached by two Japanese F-15 fighter jets at a distance as close as 30 meters.

On the same morning, Japan dispatched two aircraft, YS-11EB and OP-3, to conduct reconnaissance missions in China's ADIZ, prompting China to scramble two J-11 jets to identify and verify their purpose, said the defense ministry.

"Chinese jets have maintained a distance of at least 150 meters from the Japanese jets. Our pilots have performed their mission with professionalism, standard and restraint. What the Japanese pilots did was both dangerous and a gesture of provocation," Geng said.

Japan has repeatedly exaggerated China's threat to regional security as an excuse to revise its pacifist constitution and lift the ban on its right to exercise collective self-defense, said Wu Shicun, director of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies.

Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua met with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki on Thursday to refute Japan's protest on the "plane encounter," lodging a strong protest against Japan.

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