China protested the alleged incursion of a US Air Force U-2 spy plane into a no-fly zone imposed during military exercises with live fire in the north of the country.
The incident has “seriously interfered with the normal activity of the exercises” and “seriously incurred the risk of a wrong judgment and even cause an unintended sea-air incident,” the Ministry of National Defense explained Tuesday night.
“This was a direct act of provocation,” the ministry added, citing its spokesman Wu Qian. China has filed a strong complaint and asked the United States to stop such actions, Wu said.
The statement did not offer details about the time and place in which the maneuvers were carried out, but the information coincides with the exercises that the Maritime Security Administration said began on Monday and will last until September 30 in the Mar de Bohai, east of Beijing.
The US-China relationship is at its worst in decades because of countless disputes between Beijing and Washington, including trade, technology, Taiwan and the South China Sea.
U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft flew over China, the former Soviet Union and other Communist bloc countries during the Cold War, and improved versions of the aircraft continue to support American missions.