New Delhi, July 27: For the first time in recent history, an American warplane came within 100 km distance of the Chinese coast. According to a think tank linked to the Beijing-based Peking University, the P-8A anti-submarine plane of the US Navy was as close as 76.5 km away from the Shanghai, one of the prominent cities of China.

Apart from the P-8A warplane, an EP-3E reconnaissance plane also entered the Taiwan Strait on Sunday night, said an update issued by the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative on social media. US-China Conflict to Impair Global Trade Which is Vital for India's Reopening, Says Raghuram Rajan.

This was the 12th reconnaissance operation undertaken by the US forces based in the region this month, the think-tank claimed. The flying of American places in the vicinity of Chinese mainland comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries.

"At the moment the US military is sending three to five reconnaissance aircraft each day to the South China Sea," the think tank was reported as stating by the South China Morning Post. The aggression by the US comes amid a live-drill being conducted by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the South China Sea region.

The timing chosen by the US to increase its reconnaissance activities could lead to an "accidental clash", the think tank warned, adding that China is expected to retaliate by counter surveillance measures.

The US and China, considered as arch economic rivals, are squaring on an array of issues ranging from trade and technology, to the origins of coronavirus and influence in South China Sea region.

Both the countries, in a tit-for-tat move, had closed down one consulate each. Within 72 hours of the closure of Chinese consulate in Houston, a reciprocal order was issued by Beijing, directing the US consulate in Chengdu to shut down officially by Monday morning.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 27, 2020 11:21 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website