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Chinese fighter jets: Trudeau speaks of “provocation”, Beijing defends itself

In a press conference Monday, Mr. Trudeau condemned China’s actions towards Canadian planes that were participating in a multilateral UN mission over the Pacific to enforce sanctions against North Korea.

China’s actions are irresponsible and provocative and we will continue to strongly insist that they put people at risk while failing to respect UN decisions. »

A quote from Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister

Last week, the Canadian military accused the Chinese planes of repeatedly violating international safety standards and endangering a Canadian crew.

A June 1 statement said Chinese aircraft attempted to hijack a Canadian long-range patrol aircraft and the crew had to change direction quickly to avoid a potential collision.

Such interactions […] are worrying and increasingly frequentthe statement said.

The Canadian aircraft had been deployed from April 26 to May 26 to join other countries in monitoring ship-to-ship fuel transfers at sea, which could help North Korea evade UN sanctions for its missile tests and its nuclear tests.

Chinese vessels are suspected of having participated in transfers. The United States and Japan also participated in UN monitoring.

China defends itself

Beijing on Monday defended its military pilots, saying they were doing the right thing and protecting China’s sovereignty, following complaints from Canada and Australia that Chinese planes were engaging in risky maneuvers over the Pacific. .

Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said China had promptly taken reasonable, powerful and professional measures in response to Canada’s hostile and unprofessional acts of provocation and operations.

Wu said in a statement that under the guise of implementing UN sanctions, Canada has stepped up close reconnaissance of China.

He said Canada would take responsibility for all serious consequences of what he called his risky and provocative actions.

In 2001, a collision between an American surveillance plane and a Chinese air force plane resulted in the death of the Chinese pilot and the detention of the American crew by China for 10 days.

Canberra also denounces Chinese aviation

In a separate incident, newly elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, visiting Indonesia on Monday, called the actions of a Chinese fighter jet on May 26 a dangerous act of aggression against an ISIS aircraft. Australian Air Force which was conducting aerial surveillance in the South China Sea.

The Chinese J-16 accelerated and passed in front of the Australian plane, releasing small pieces of aluminum which were sucked into the aircraft’s engine, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said on Sunday. The Chinese Ministry of Defense did not comment on this incident.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the military always conducts operations based on international law and global practice in a safe and professional manner.

We urge Australia to respect China’s national security interests and major concerns, and to be careful in its words and deeds to avoid a miscalculation that could have serious consequences. »

A quote from Zhao Lijian, Spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

China claims numerous small islands and several reefs in the South China Sea, and Beijing claims the area around these outcrops is part of its territorial waters and airspace. These waters are an important navigation route for all countries in the region, including Australia which, together with the United States, declares that it wants to guarantee freedom of navigation through this sector.

Zhao said China would not allow any country to violate its sovereignty in the name of freedom of navigation. He also accused Canada of spreading misinformation and said it should adopt a moderate and pragmatic policy towards China and take concrete steps to improve relations between the two countries.

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