* The Pentagon said the US military has had “unsafe” encounters with the Chinese military in the South China Sea in recent months as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
* The deputy assistant secretary of defense for Southeast Asia told Fox News on Tuesday that there had been “at least nine” concerning incidents involving Chinese fighters and US aircraft over the contested waterway since mid-March.
* There was also an “unsafe” encounter involving a Chinese naval vessel and the US Navy destroyer USS Mustin last month.
The Pentagon said the US military has had “unsafe” encounters with the Chinese armed forces in the South China Sea during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is also a source of deepening tension between the two countries.
There have been “at least nine” concerning incidents involving Chinese fighter jets and US aircraft in the skies above the contested waterway since mid-March, Reed Werner, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Southeast Asia, told Fox News on Tuesday, adding that China continues to engage in “risky and escalatory behavior.”
A defense official told Insider that some incidents were considered unsafe, though the specific details behind the incidents are unclear.
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WNU Editor: This reminds me of the Cold War. U.S./NATO vessels and planes challenging Soviet/Warsaw vessels and planes, and vice versa. And while the media focus is on the U.S. and China, the real focus should be on China and how it is challenging all of its neighbours. Beijing is now basically confronting everyone, and if they are not openly using their military to assert their claims or intimidate their neighbours, they use the economic lever to punish those who they feel have not obedient. Australia is currently learning that lesson with tariffs on its agricultural products. Even North Korea and Russia are now experiencing border tensions with China, something that I never though would happen before this pandemic.