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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Chinese fighter jets carried out an intercept of a U.S. military surveillance plane near Hong Kong on Wednesday, with one coming within 200 yards of the American aircraft, U.S. officials told Reuters.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said initial reports showed that the U.S. P-3 surveillance plane was 150 miles South East of Hong Kong in international air space when the aircraft carried out an unsafe intercept of the plane. One Chinese aircraft flew in front of the American plane, restricting it's ability to manoeuvre.

A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali)

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Reuters