China accuses Canadian jets of provocations

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China urged Canada to refrain from provocations in international airspace, otherwise Ottawa will be responsible for the consequences…reports Asian Lite News

Canadian air forces have stepped up intelligence activities and provocations against China under the pretext of implementing United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea, Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Monday.

Last week, the Canadian armed forces accused Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force pilots of unprofessional and security-threatening behaviour during recent encounters with the Canadian air forces in international airspace. The incidents occurred during the Canadian air forces’ NEON mission to monitor possible violations of UN sanctions against North Korea, Sputnik reported.

“Recently, the Canadian air forces aircraft have stepped up intelligence activities and provocations against China under the pretext of implementing UNSC resolutions, which poses a threat to China’s national security and also endangers the personnel of both sides, the Chinese side strongly opposes this,” the spokesman said, as quoted by the ministry.

China urged Canada to refrain from provocations in international airspace, otherwise Ottawa will be responsible for the consequences, the official added.

As per reports, Chinese military jets have been flying extremely close to the Canadian aircraft, risking a mid-air collision and showing an “unsafe and unprofessional conduct” of the Chinese pilots.

The Canadian maritime patrol aircraft CP-140 Aurora, manned by rotating crews, is currently taking part in UN Operation NEON to monitor sanctions against North Korea.

Chinese military fighter jets have repeatedly “buzzed” a Canadian aircraft which was on a UN mission in East Asia, with over two dozen intercepts deemed dangerous, Radio Free Asia reported citing Canada’s local media outlet.

According to a report on Wednesday in Canada’s Global News, “Buzzing” means flying extremely close and fast. On these occasions, the Chinese jets came as close as 20 to 100 feet (six to 30 meters) to the Canadian plane.

Moreover, the Canadian government and military sources also revealed that the Canadian government lodged “multiple” diplomatic complaints with Beijing regarding this matter.

This situation is termed by a spokesperson for the Canadian Department of National Defence as “of concern and of increasing frequency”.

As per the report, there have been around 60 such incidents since December. The planes sometimes came so close to the Canadian pilots that they could make eye contact with each other, risking a mid-air collision, the report said.

However, these complaints by Canada of Chinese aircraft “buzzing” their planes were dismissed by Chinese analysts. Chinese sources and analysts said the Canadian warplanes were the ones guilty of conducting provocative close-in recon missions on China.

Notably, Canada-China relations have been strained after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive at the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei in 2018 at the request of the US. China retaliated by arresting two Canadian citizens, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.

The two Canadians were released last September after Meng was allowed to return to China. Relations between the two countries soured again last month after Canada banned Huawei and another Chinese telecom company, ZTE, from taking part in its 5G network development. (ANI)

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