Canada’s defence minister has accused China fighter jets of carrying out a “dangerous and reckless” interception of a Canadian military plane over international waters.
Bill Blair spoke after Canada’s Global News said a Chinese jet had come within five meters (16ft) of a Canadian surveillance plane taking part in a UN operation to enforce sanctions against North Korea.
The incident took place in international waters off the coast of China, said Global, which had a crew on the plane. Blair said that while the Chinese air force regularly interacted with planes on UN missions, the incident on Monday had put the Canadian aircraft at significant risk.
“I am very concerned about the unprofessional way in which this was done,” Blair said.
“It was quite frankly dangerous and reckless. And those types of behaviors are not ever acceptable and we will express that to the People’s Republic of China in the most appropriate way,” he continued, but did not give details.
The Chinese embassy in Ottawa did not respond to a request for comment on the Global News report.
In June 2022, Canada’s military accused Chinese warplanes of harassing its patrol aircraft as they monitored North Korea sanction evasions, sometimes forcing Canadian planes to divert from their flight paths.
In May, the Pentagon said a Chinese fighter jet carried out an “unnecessarily aggressive” maneuver near a US military plane over the South China Sea in international airspace. The encounter followed what Washington calls a recent trend of increasingly dangerous behavior by Chinese military aircraft.
Source : TheGuardian