Intercepts P-8A Poseidon Aircraft, China Says Australian Reconnaissance Planes Threaten Sovereignty

Intercepts P-8A Poseidon Aircraft, China Says Australian Reconnaissance Planes Threaten Sovereignty
P-8A Poseidon Aircraft

International Military - China said its military had identified Australian military aircraft in the South China Sea (SCS) and warned them to leave. The statement came after Australia said Chinese fighter jets had intercepted one of its military reconnaissance planes in the region.

Tan Kefei, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Defence, said Australian military aircraft seriously threaten China's sovereignty and security and that the countermeasures taken by the Chinese military are reasonable and lawful.

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He added that the ministry "firmly" opposes the Australian military's actions in the region. On Sunday, Australia's Department of Defense said in a statement that a Chinese fighter jet had "dangerously" intercepted an Australian military reconnaissance aircraft in the South China Sea region on May 26.

"A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft was intercepted by a Chinese fighter jet during routine maritime surveillance activities in international airspace in the region," the Australian Department of Defence said.

The report comes days after Canada's military accused a Chinese warplane of harassing its pilots during a UN patrol along the border with North Korea to monitor sanctions evasion.

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Relations between Australia and China have been strained recently due to China's growing influence in the Pacific after Beijing sought regional security deals with Pacific Island nations.

In February, then Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison accused China of shining a laser at one of its surveillance planes, referring to the incident as an act of intimidation, which Australia considers dangerous and reckless.

Australia's defense minister condemned China after a Chinese spy ship was caught operating off the country's west coast in May, labeling it an "aggressive act".

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