China accuses Canada of stepping up reconnaissance against Chinese military
- Last week, Canada’s military accused Chinese warplanes of harassing its aircraft while they monitored potential sanction breaches by North Korea
- Chinese defence ministry spokesman says Canada must refrain from risky and provocative behaviour while Beijing has made solemn representations to Ottawa
Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said Beijing had made solemn representations to Ottawa via diplomatic channels.
Canada’s aircraft were operating from Kadena Airbase in Japan between April 26 and May 26.
Ottawa said the incidents took place in international airspace, which Beijing has not disputed.
Wu said China urged the Canadian side to be aware of the seriousness of the situation, strictly restrain its frontline troops and refrain from risky and provocative behaviour, “otherwise, all serious consequences arising from it shall be borne by the Canadian side”.
Wu said Canadian military planes “recently have been using the excuse of implementing UN Security Council resolutions” to step up reconnaissance and provocations against China and, in response to questions about the incident, he said they were “endangering China’s national security and the safety of frontline personnel on both sides”.
Without giving details such as the date, locations and how Chinese aircraft handled the encounter, Wu called Canada’s actions provocative, unfriendly and unprofessional, in contrast to his description of the PLA aircraft, which he said quickly took reasonable, powerful, safe and professional measures in response.
Since 2018, Canada has carried out missions to monitor and identify evasion of maritime sanctions by Pyongyang to support sanctions imposed between 2006 and 2017 to pressure North Korea into abandoning weapons of mass destruction programmes, according to the Canadian government website.
The alleged incidents were not the first tense encounters between Chinese and Canadian military craft. In 2019, two Chinese fighter jets buzzed a Canadian warship in the East China Sea.