US Navy P-8A Poseidon Flight Draws Response from Chinese Jet Fighter

In December 2022, the United States accused a Chinese jet fighter of flying within 20 feet of a US reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea. Beijing then responded by claiming the US plane had veered suddenly towards the jet.[0] The incident occurred when a P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft transited the Taiwan Strait in international airspace, according to a statement released by the 7th Fleet under the U.S. Pacific Command.

The Chinese jet fighter was carrying air-to air missiles and closed in on the US aircraft. The jet was a Shenyang J-11 fighter jet and is a twin-engine, single-seat warplane based on a licensed-built version of the Russian Sukhoi Su-27SK Flanker fighter, which is why it is also nicknamed the Flanker or Flanker B+.[1]

The US military aircraft received a warning from a Chinese ground station.[2] The PLA air force warned the American aircraft that they were nearing Chinese airspace, cautioning them to maintain a safe distance or else they would be intercepted. This message was relayed by the Chinese ground station.[0] The Chinese fighter jet, flying within a few hundred feet of the US aircraft, escorted it for 15 minutes before eventually changing direction.[3] “No approaching any more or you will pay full responsibility,” said a voice from China’s air force ground station.[4]

The US Navy P-8A Poseidon then flew over the Taiwan Strait on Monday to assert its right to operate in international airspace amid opposition from China, which wants to push American forces out of the region. Military officials from the United States have reported that China is increasingly attempting to assert its dominance in the South China Sea by claiming control of many uninhabited islands, thus leading to a rise in confrontations in the region.[3]

China blasted the US for sending a plane through the Taiwan Strait on Monday and expressed firm opposition to the flight, “which deliberately damaged the regional situation and jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits”.[5]

Officers of the U.S. Navy were located at roughly six computer stations inside the plane, analyzing radar images that were projected outside of the aircraft as it flew over the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, before eventually coming back to the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.[4]

0. “Chinese warplane intercepts US Navy plane over South China Sea” ThePrint, 27 Feb. 2023,

1. “PLAAF Fighter Pilots ‘Turning Aggressive’; Meet China’s ‘Serial Harasser’ J-11 That Shadowed US Aircraft Over SCS” EurAsian Times, 28 Feb. 2023,

2. “Chinese fighter jet intercepts US aircraft over the South China Sea: Report | Indiablooms – First Portal on Digital News …” indiablooms, 26 Feb. 2023,

3. “‘US Aircraft, This is Chinese Warship': Moment Beijing's Fighter Jet, Ship Threaten US Military Plane” News18, 26 Feb. 2023,

4. “Chinese Fighter Jet Flew Within 500 Feet Of US Patrol; Threat Issued” The Steve Harvey Morning Show, 26 Feb. 2023,

5. “PLA criticizes US warplane's flight over Taiwan Straits” China Daily, 27 Feb. 2023,