China hits back after Canada accuses PLA jets of ‘unsafe’ South China Sea moves

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Beijing has hit back at Ottawa after a dogfight between a Canadian plane and PLA fighter jets over… South Chinese Ocean late last month, describing the Canadian action as provocative.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Zhang Xiaogang said on Saturday that a Canadian helicopter conducted flights with “unknown intentions” to approach the airspace around the Paracel Islands, known in China as the Xisha.

Zhang said the People’s Liberation ArmyCanada’s navy and air force had identified the Canadian helicopter and issued repeated warnings, but it “refused to respond” and “took provocative actions, such as flying at ultra-low altitude.”

The Canadian flights represented “malicious and provocative actions with ulterior motives,” Zhang said.

Beijing’s response came after Ottawa accused the Chinese air force on October 29 of unsafe behavior over international waters in the South China Sea.

Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair said on Friday that the Chinese plane engaged in “significantly unsafe” actions, Reuters reported.

A Chinese fighter jet fired flares at a Canadian helicopter over the South China Sea

The Canadian Armed Forces said its CH-148 Cyclone helicopter was conducting routine exercises in the South China Sea when it was intercepted by two PLA J-11 fighter jets.

It said one jet flew over the Canadian helicopter “with little spacing, causing the helicopter to experience turbulence.” Later that day, another J-11 fighter jet “launched flares directly in front of” the same Canadian helicopter.

“All interactions took place in international airspace, well outside the claimed territorial seas and associated airspace,” the Canadian Forces said, noting that the Canadian aircraft was “subject to multiple close quarters maneuvers” by the Chinese fighter jet that “ safety of all personnel involved who are exposed to unnecessary risk.”

“Canada expects that all interceptions of our aircraft are conducted in a safe and professional manner. The Canadian Armed Forces will continue to contribute to a safer and more stable Indo-Pacific, including through the deployment of Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft.”

It was the second time in two weeks that Canada accused PLA jets of unsafe behavior.

In mid-October, Blair said a Chinese plane had buzzed a Canadian surveillance plane taking part in a United Nations operation in the East China Sea, as Beijing pushed back on what he said were attempts to “cause trouble and provocation on China’s doorstep.” ”.


PLA deploys fighter jets after detecting foreign fighter jets over South China Sea

PLA deploys fighter jets after detecting foreign fighter jets over South China Sea

Beijing claims most of the South China Sea through what it calls its historic “nine-dash line.” The Paracel Islands consist of approximately 130 small coral islands and reefs covering an area of ​​7.75 square kilometers (3 sq mi) and are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.

Canada “violated China’s domestic law and relevant international law and endangered China’s sovereignty and security” during the Oct. 29 meeting, the Chinese Ministry of Defense said.

“We urge the Canadian side not to ignore the facts, stop exaggerating and speculating, and strictly limit the actions of frontline air and naval forces to prevent accidents at sea and in the air” , said Zhang.

“The Chinese military is on high alert at all times, resolutely defends national sovereignty, security and maritime rights and interests, and resolutely maintains peace and stability in the South China Sea.”

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