It seems that China is ramping up its intimidation tactics, after a complaint was made from Australia and Canada that accused China of allowing its planes to engage in dangerous maneuvers over the Pacific Ocean.
China is refusing to apologize, and the Communist Chinese Party’s (CCP) Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said China “swiftly took reasonable, forceful and professional measures in response to Canada’s provocative acts and unfriendly and unprofessional operations.”
The Canadian planes were deployed as part of an effort to join other countries in surveilling fuel transfers between ships out at sea that could be helping North Korea avoid U.N. sanctions after the isolated communist country conducted missile and nuclear tests.
The United States and Japan are also involved with surveillance of what they suspect is Chinese ships taking part in the transfers.
During their flight, Canadian pilots said Chinese military planes were not following international safety standards on several occasions, which put the Canadian crews at risk of collision. China has been accused of attempting to divert a Canadian long-range aircraft from its path.
In a statement released by the Canadian military, it said “Such interactions … are of concern and of increasing frequency.”
China has been invading the airspace of Taiwan, after the CCP stated they want the island nation under the sovereignty of China. Taipei maintains they are independent and have never been under the rule of the Chinese in history, therefore China has no claim.
Defense spokesperson Wu said in a statement that Canada has increased its reconnaissance of China, using U.N sanctions as the excuse to do it and that Canada would take responsibility for any serious outcomes from what he said was risky and provocative acts by Canada, according to the Associated Press.
In 2001, China detained a U.S. air crew for 10 days, after a U.S. surveillance plane collided with a Chinese air force jet, which resulted in the pilot’s death.
Australia is also unhappy with the behavior of China and Australia’s newly elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during a visit to Indonesia, called the actions of Chinese fighter jets a dangerous act of aggression, after an Australian air force plane which was conducting surveillance in the South China Sea was cut in front of by a Chinese J-16.
The jet released chaff that contained tiny amounts of aluminum, which ended up in the Australian jet’s engine, according to Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles in a statement, to which the Chinese Defense Ministry has yet to comment on.
The accusations were flatly denied by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, who said the Chinese military always conducted their operations according to international law and practice in a safe and professional manner.
“We urge Australia to respect China’s national security interests and major concerns, and to be cautious with its words and deeds so as to avoid a miscalculation that could cause serious consequences,” he said.
China is claiming many small islands in the South China Sea, an important shipping lane to all the countries within the region, including Australia.
Australia and the United States want freedom of navigation through this shipping lane, but Zhao said China would not allow the violation of its sovereignty for freedom of navigation.