Australian military plane intercepted by Beijing, Canberra raises the tone.
Posted on 8.6.2022 by Epoch Times with AFP
Australia raised its tone on Wednesday, following the interception at the end of May of one of its military surveillance planes by beijinginsisting it was in international airspace.
Beijing and Canberra have accused each other of endangering their military aircraft in the incident, which took place over the South China Sea.
Asked about this, the Australian Prime Minister replied curtly that “This incident occurred in international airspace. Period “.
The day before, the spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Defense, Tan Kefei, had affirmed that theplane Australian had approached the airspace of the Paracel Islands, located in the South China Sea.
According to Canberra, a Chinese fighter recklessly intercepted an Australian P-8 surveillance craft, closing in close and firing flares before swooping past it.
Mr. Tan claimed that the Chinese side issued “repeated warnings” during this action which “seriously threatened China’s sovereignty and security”.
He also accused the Australian government of broadcasting ” fake news “.
Most of the South China Sea is international waters
For its part, Australia blamed China for endangering its patrol plane.
In the name of historical reasons, Beijing claims almost all of the vast China Sea, where several other residents (Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia in particular) control or wish to control several islands and reefs.
Australia, like the United States, considers that most of the South China Sea is part of international waters and that navigation and overflight are therefore free, even for military aircraft.
Sino-Australian relations have been strained for several years, with Beijing taking a dim view of the strengthening of the alliance between Australians and Americans to stem Chinese influence in Asia-Pacific.