Thu. May 30th, 2024

China tensions explode after warplane ‘fires flares’ intercepting key ally’s helicopter

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May17,2024

China sent tensions in the region soaring after one of its J-10 fighter jets intercepted an Australian helicopter narrowly averting disaster.

The jet is said to have dropped flares 300 metres in front of the Australian Navy helicopter and 60 metres above it forcing the aircraft to change direction to avoid a collision.

The Navy Seahawk helicopter was conducting routine operations in international waters on Saturday night when the Chinese J-10 jet intercepted it.

Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles slammed the encounter as “unsafe and unprofessional” while speaking to 9News Australia.

Marles said: “The PLA airforce plane dropped flares about 300 meters in front of the Seahawk helicopter and about 60 meters above it.

“This was an incident which was, by far, unsafe and unprofessional.”

He said the Australian Government had lodged a formal complaint with China over its jet’s behaviour and expressed its deep concern about the incident.

The Seahawk helicopter was carrying out operations in connection to HMS Hobart’s efforts to prevent North Korea from smuggling sanctioned goods via sea.

Marles insisted Canberra will continue operating in the region as it warned Beijing that its hostile conduct is “completely unacceptable.”

He added: “We will not be deterred from engaging in lawful activities. Activities which are there to enforce UN sanctions in respect to North Korea.”

Despite repeated international warnings, China has continued to act aggressively against its neighbours and their allies.

In November, Australian Navy divers were injured after one of Beijing’s warships issued sonar pulses while they operated in the South China Sea.

The area has been at the centre of a decades-long dispute between China, which claims sovereignty over the whole South China Sea, and several of its neighbours – including Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia.

In recent months, Beijing ramped up its hostility against Manila, repeatedly targeting its Coast Guard and civilian vessels with water cannons in a bid to exert control in the area.

The United States has warned China on several occasions to stand down as the Philippines expressed its commitment not to raise regional tensions.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “China tensions explode after warplane ‘fires flares’ intercepting key ally’s helicopter”
  1. China’s behavior in intercepting the Australian helicopter was completely unacceptable. It is crucial for all countries to abide by international laws and norms to ensure safety and prevent incidents like this in the future.

  2. How could China’s intercepting actions have escalated so quickly? What are the potential consequences of such behavior?

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