Australian Economy

Australian PM slams interception of Canberra flights over South China sea

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has condemned the incident where a Chinese fighter plane forced its plane while on routine surveillance into a dangerous manoeuvre over the South Sea.

On May 26, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) “P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft was intercepted by a Chinese J-16 fighter aircraft during a routine maritime surveillance activity in airspace in the South Sea region,” the Australian Department of Defence said in a statement.

“The intercept resulted in a dangerous manoeuvre which posed a safety threat to the P-8 aircraft and its crew,” it added.

Addressing the presser, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said, “What occurred was that the J-16 aircraft flew very close to the side of the P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft,” Marles said. “In flying close to the side, it released flares, the J-16 then accelerated and cut across the nose of the P-8, settling in front of the P-8 at a very close distance. At that moment, it then released a bundle of chaff which contains small pieces of aluminium, some of which were ingested into the engine of the P-8 aircraft. Quite obviously, this is very dangerous.”

But this is not the first time when the Chinese plan showed unprofessional behaviour. Last week, Canada accused Chinese air force pilots of unprofessional and risky behaviour during encounters with Canadian planes in airspace, while Ottawa was enforcing UN sanctions against North Korea, reportedly in the East Sea, Taipei times reported.

Donald Rothwell, a professor of law at Australian National University, over this incident said, “The P-8 could have been flying adjacent to a Chinese claimed artificial island over which does not recognize any Chinese entitlement to a territorial sea and, as such, the freedom of overflight would apply. China would counter by saying this is an area where they can assert a legitimate territorial sea and Australian aircraft cannot enter. So the matter could be a simple issue of an Australian versus a Chinese interpretation of the relevant airspace.”

Meanwhile, Euan Graham, a maritime security expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore thinks that China might be testing the resolve of US allies. He further said that Beijing was “making life difficult for unarmed surveillance aircraft both from Canada and Australia” but was “not reacting in the same way to US aircraft when they are doing their surveillance operations.”

Graham further said the actions sent “a very clear message that China doesn’t want foreign militaries operating on, under or above the waters around its coastline, especially the waters that it claims sovereignty over in the South China Sea.”

According to the publication, that was consistent with Beijing’s long-term strategy to weaken the US alliance system.

Over this incident, the Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister on Monday evening said that Beijing would not allow any country to violate China’s sovereignty and security, and harm peace and stability in the South China Sea by using “freedom of navigation” as an excuse.

A separate editorial cited “data” stated, “that from February 24 to March 11, Australian military aircraft have visited the East China Sea north of the island of Taiwan six times this year to conduct close-in reconnaissance activities.”

Even the Chinese-state-run ‘Global Times’ editorial section said, “No one can act as Washington’s ‘goon’ while making a fortune from China.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Get our latest downloads and information first. Complete the form below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.