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China Urges Australia to Stop Provocation in South China Sea

Tue 07 Jun 2022 | 03:02 PM
Israa Farhan

Beijing Warned Canberra to cease dangerous provocations after the interception of an Australian military plane in the airspace over the South China Sea on May 26.

This came in a statement by Tan Kefei, the Chinese Ministry of Defense spokesperson, today, Tuesday, June 7.

On May 26, the Australian Ministry of Defense had reported earlier that a Chinese military aircraft intercepted an Australian reconnaissance plane in the airspace over the South China Sea.

"An Australian maritime surveillance aircraft RAAF P-8 entered China’s airspace near the Xisha archipelago for surveillance activities. It ignored the multiple warnings of the Chinese side and continued approaching the airspace of the Xisha archipelago," the Chinese defense ministry said in a statement.

Richard Marles, the Australian Minister of Defense, had accused the Chinese fighter of endangering the safety of the crew of the Australian military plane, as it flew at a close distance, fired heat flares, and intercepted the plane's path, as it "emptied a cloud of fibers that included small pieces of aluminum, some of which entered to the plane's engine."

The Australian flight crew was not harmed and were able to return to their base, but Canberra informed Beijing that the incident raises concern, knowing that the interception process is the first contact with the Chinese army since the formation of the new government in Australia on May 21.