China Vows to Respond to US Surveillance Flights

BEIJING  — China says it will keep responding to U.S. military surveillance flights off its coast, rejecting American claims that one of Beijing's fighter jets acted recklessly in intercepting a U.S. Navy plane last week.

Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Thursday that China's military would closely monitor U.S. flights and adopt appropriate measures to ensure the country's security.

Yang said U.S. surveillance flights this year have become more frequent, are covering a wider area and are coming closer to the Chinese coast.

However, he wouldn't say what distance China considers acceptable, saying only that the U.S. should scale back or end such flights entirely if it wants to avoid potential accidents and build mutual trust.

The Aug. 19 encounter took place about 135 miles (220 kilometers) from China's Hainan Island.

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