Australia risks ‘consequences’ after jet incident

Beijing on Monday warned Australia to "act prudently" or face "serious consequences" after Canberra accused a Chinese fighter jet of intercepting one of its spy planes over the South China Sea.

Australia has argued it is not unusual for it to undertake surveillance flights there.

Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles on Sunday said that a Chinese J-16 fighter intercepted a P-8 surveillance aircraft late last month, in a "dangerous" manoeuvre that put the safety of the Australian Defence Force crew at risk.

But Beijing hit back on Monday, saying it would "never allow any country to infringe upon China's sovereignty and security… under the pretext of freedom of navigation".

"China once again urges Australia to earnestly respect China's national security interests and core interests, act and speak prudently to avoid a miscalculation occurring that results in serious consequences," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.

Zhao added that China's military has always conducted operations in a "safe, standard and professional manner" in line with international law.

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Meanwhile, the defence ministry on Monday said Canadian military jets have stepped up reconnaissance and provocations against China, endangering its national security.

The ministry said it opposes Canada's provocative actions.

Ministry spokesperson, Wu Qian, said the Chinese military took reasonable measures to deal with Canada's actions and have made “solemn representations” via diplomatic channels.

Canada's military last week accused Chinese warplanes of harassing its patrol aircraft as they monitor North Korea sanction evasions, sometimes forcing Canadian planes to divert from their flight paths. (AFP/Reuters)
Last updated: 2022-06-06 HKT 18:05

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