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Feb 10, 12:45 AM EST

US, Chinese aircraft in 'unsafe' encounter over S. China Sea

BEIJING (AP) -- The U.S. Pacific Command says a Chinese aircraft and a U.S. Navy patrol plane had an "unsafe" encounter over the South China Sea this week, raising concerns.

Pacific Command spokesman Robert Shuford said Friday that the "interaction" between a Chinese KJ-200 early warning aircraft and a U.S. Navy P-3C plane took place on Wednesday in international airspace over the waters. He did not say what was unsafe about the encounter.

Shuford says the U.S. plane was on a routine mission and operating according to international law.

He said the Department of Defense and the Pacific Command "are always concerned about unsafe interactions with Chinese military forces."

The Chinese defense ministry has not responded to a faxed request for comment.

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This story has been corrected to show that the KJ-200 is not a jet.

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