Australia Protests Chinese Actions In International Waters, Calls It 'Unsafe' And 'Unacceptable'

A Chinese fighter jet endangered an Australian military helicopter during an "unsafe" and "unacceptable" confrontation over the Yellow Sea, Australia said on Monday.
Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles

Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles.

Photo : AP
New Delhi: Australia on Monday protested a Chinese warplane firing flares extremely close to an Australian military chopper during an "unsafe" and "unacceptable" confrontation over the Yellow Sea. The incident reportedly took place on Saturday when a Chinese Airforce J-10 jet dropped flares above and a few hundred meters in front of an Australian MH604 Seahawk Helicopter.
As part of an operation, the helicopter was conducting a routine flight in the Yellow Sea to enforce sanctions against North Korea, Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles said in a statement. "This is a very serious incident, it was unsafe and it is completely unacceptable," he added.
"We have formally expressed our concerns about this incident, and formally expressed that this was both unsafe and unprofessional," he said, quoted Times of India.
Although no one was hurt, the incident put the aircraft and those on board at risk, the Department of Defence further added.
After years of tense relations and trade disputes, there has been a growing rapprochement between the two countries. However, this is the second incident of this kind in six months. Last year in November, Australia reported that a Chinese naval vessel using an underwater sonar in Japanese waters injured a few of its divers. China, however, denied using sonar, but Australia rejected the explanation, the TOI report added.
Despite the Saturday's confrontation, HMAS Hobart is still operating in the region, according to Marles. Since 2018, Australia has been involved in regional missions to enforce sanctions against North Korea.
China’s Ministry of Defence did not immediately respond to a request for comment, the report added.
End of Article
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