China has demanded that the US halt all its surveillance flights near the Chinese coast in a move to maintain good relationships between the two countries.

The call follows after two Chinese fighter jets intercepted an US U-2 spy plane over the Taiwan Strait.

The Global Times quoted a Chinese Defence ministry spokesman as saying: “We demand that the United States respects China’s sovereignty and security interests and takes concrete measures to boost a healthy and stable development of military relations.”

The Pentagon, however, rejected the warning and said the US would continue to fly operations in international airspace.

Military ties between the two countries continue to be strained, having grown following the US arms sales to Taiwan.