Sending Stern Warning to Australia, Chinese Officials Laud Beijing's Military Professionalism

Sending Stern Warning to Australia, Chinese Officials Laud Beijing's Military Professionalism
Sending Stern Warning to Australia

International Military - Over the years, relations between Australia and China have deteriorated. Moreover, Chinese fighter planes were caught gliding before the eyes of Australian military fighter jets over the South China Sea.

A Chinese fighter jet glided in front of an Australian military aircraft over the South China Sea and released the swallowed debris into the engine. In addition, Chinese fighter jets forced Australian aircraft to return to base. This was conveyed by the Australian Ministry of Defense on Sunday 5 June 2022.

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The incident occurred on May 26 involving a P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft that was intercepted by a Chinese J-16 fighter aircraft during a routine patrol in international airspace, the Australian Department of Defense said. Defense Secretary Richard Marles said the Chinese J-16 flew very close to the Australian aircraft.

Additionally, China's J-16s also released flares and chaff that were eaten by the Poseidon's converted Boeing 737-800 engine. "The J-16 accelerated and cut the nose of the P-8, settling in front of the P-8 at very close range," Marles told reporters in Melbourne.

"At that time, he then released a bunch of husks, which contained small pieces of aluminum, some of which were swallowed into the P-8 aircraft engine. Obviously, this is very dangerous," he explained. He said the P-8 crew responded professionally and returned the plane to its base.

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However, there was no official response from Beijing on Sunday. "The defense has for decades carried out maritime surveillance activities in the region and done so in accordance with international law, exercising the rights to freedom of navigation and overflight in international waters and airspace," the Department of Defense said in a statement.

Relations between Australia and China have deteriorated over the years after Beijing imposed trade barriers and rejected high-level exchanges in response to Canberra's imposition of rules targeting foreign interference in its domestic politics.

Last month's incident comes amid increasingly aggressive behavior by the Chinese military in border areas and at sea, targeting planes, ships and ground troops from India, Canada, the United States and the Philippines.

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China claims the South China Sea almost in its entirety and continues to increase pressure on other countries by claiming parts of the strategic waterway. That has included the construction of military facilities on artificial islands and harassment of foreign fishing vessels, and military missions in international air and sea.

Earlier this year, US Indo-Pacific commander Admiral John C. Aquilino said China had fully militarized at least three of its island holdings, arming them with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems, laser and jamming equipment, and military aircraft.

The US and its allies have consistently challenged China's claims by holding patrols and military exercises in the area, prompting an angry response from Beijing despite a deal aimed at reducing tensions. Quoted from ABC News, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, during his visit to Indonesia on Monday 6 June 2022, called it a dangerous act of aggression.

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"In the view of the Australian government, in the view of the Department of Defence, this is not safe, what is happening, and we have made appropriate representations to the Chinese government to express our concern over this," he said.

As of Monday, China's Ministry of Defense has not commented on the incident. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China's military always conducts operations according to international law and practice and in a safe and professional manner.

"We urge Australia to respect China's national security interests and key concerns, and be careful with its words and actions to avoid miscalculations that could lead to serious consequences," he said.

Previously, China claimed many small islands and coral reefs in the South China Sea. The Bamboo Curtain country said the area around this outcrop is its territorial waters and air space.

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