Home News The Pentagon says US military aircraft have been forced to avoid “noise” from Chinese planes

The Pentagon says US military aircraft have been forced to avoid “noise” from Chinese planes

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The Chinese military plane came within 20 feet (6 metres) of the nose of a US Air Force plane in contested southern China. On Thursday, the US military said the seas were forced last week to perform evasive maneuvers to avoid international airspace.

The close confrontation followed what the US described as a recent trend of increasingly dangerous behavior by Chinese military aircraft that also ‘ignored’ those of other countries operating in the region – including Canada.

The US military said in a statement that the latest incident, involving a Chinese Navy J-11 fighter jet and a US Air Force RC-135, occurred on December 21.

“We expect all countries in the Indo-Pacific region to use international airspace safely and in accordance with international law,” she added.

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A Canadian military plane was “intercepted” by Chinese planes during the last mission

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The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the past, China has said that the US sending its ships and planes into the South China Sea is not good for peace.

US military aircraft and ships regularly monitor and travel in the area.

China claims vast swaths of the South China Sea that stretch across the exclusive economic zones of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Trillions of dollars of trade pass through the waterway each year, which also contains rich fishing grounds and gas deposits.

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China says Canadian military aircraft have stepped up reconnaissance and provocation operations

In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart in November, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin discussed the need to improve communications in a crisis, and also discussed what he called the dangerous behavior of Chinese military aircraft.

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Despite tensions between the United States and China, American military officials have long sought to maintain open lines of communication with their Chinese counterparts to mitigate the risks of potential clashes or deal with any incidents.

The Australian Ministry of Defense said in June that a Chinese fighter jet seriously intercepted an Australian military reconnaissance aircraft in the South China Sea area in May.

Australia said the Chinese plane flew close to an Australian Air Force plane and dropped a “chiff bundle” containing small pieces of aluminum that were ingested into the Australian plane’s engine.

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The world’s reaction to the alleged Chinese fighter jets has been a “wheeze” of Canadian military aircraft

In June, the Canadian military accused Chinese warplanes of harassing its patrol planes as they monitored operations to evade UN sanctions against North Korea, sometimes forcing Canadian planes to deviate from their flight paths.

Sources told Global News at the time that there had been nearly 60 interceptions of Chinese fighter jets since Christmas 2021, and more than two dozen of them were considered dangerous.

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Sources said at the time that these planes frequently flew within 20 to 100 feet of the Canadian plane—so close that the Canadian pilots could make eye contact with the Chinese pilots, and sometimes even see them raise their middle fingers. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.

At the time, a Department of National Defense spokesperson said the incidents were “alarming and increasingly frequent”.

On the other hand, Beijing insisted that its military took reasonable steps to counter Canada’s “dangerous and provocative actions” in the region.

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Why is China teeming with Canadian and Australian planes? Here’s what you need to know

In November, the department told Global News that Chinese military aircraft again “intercepted” the Canadian CP-140 Aurora during the “last iteration” of Operation Neon, the North Korean sanctions mission, which took place between September and November.

Relations between China and the United States have been strained, with friction between the world’s two largest economies over everything from Taiwan and China’s human rights record to its military activity in the sea of ​​southern China.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August angered China, which saw it as an American attempt to interfere in its internal affairs. Then China launched military exercises near the island.

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The United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is required by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.

—with additional files from Global News

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