Chinese fighter jets intercept Australian planes during ‘routine’ activity – National

Chinese warplanes have intercepted an Australian plane in the South China Sea area during Australia’s routine surveillance activity in international airspace, the security ministry said in a press release on Saturday.

The interception resulted in a “dangerous maneuver” that posed a safety risk to the Australian RAAF P-8 seaplane and its crew on May 26.

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The Australian government says it has expressed concern about the interception to the Chinese government.

“Defence has conducted maritime surveillance activities in the region for decades and is doing so in accordance with international law, by exercising the right to freedom of navigation and overflight in international waters and airspace,” the Defense Ministry said.

The incident comes just after multiple sources in the Canadian Forces and the federal government told Global News that Chinese jets repeatedly “buzzed” a Canadian surveillance plane over international waters that is part of a United Nations mission.

Since this spring, there have been about 60 interceptions with Chinese fighter jets and more than two dozen have been dangerous, sources have told Global News.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also spoken out, saying his government will discuss the interception reports directly with Chinese officials to ensure it is not part of an “escalating problem”.

“We take this situation very seriously,” Trudeau told reporters during a speech at an event at Alberta’s Siksika First Nation on June 2.

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“The fact that China would have chosen to do this is extremely disturbing, so we will bring it up directly with Chinese officials and (government) colleagues and make sure it doesn’t continue to be part of an escalating pattern.”

— With files from Global News’ Mercedes Stephenson & Sean Boynton

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.