(Reuters) – The United States is justified in carrying out surveillance flights in East Asia, in spite of Chinese objections, given a lack of transparency in China’s military buildup, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.
Beijing called last month for the United States to cut back, or even stop, close surveillance by patrol aircraft if it seriously sought to repair damaged bilateral ties.
The request followed an Aug. 19 incident in which Washington said a Chinese jet flew dangerously close to a U.S. navy P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine and reconnaissance plane operating in international waters southeast of the Chinese island of Hainan.
Asked about the Chinese call to scale back such flights, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel, the senior U.S. diplomat…
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