Australia on Sunday criticized China for a “dangerous maneuver” by a Chinese fighter plane when it intercepted an Australian aircraft in international airspace over the South China Sea late last month.
A Chinese jet on May 26 intercepted an Australian P-8 aircraft that was on “routine maritime surveillance activity” in international airspace, the Defense Department in Canberra said in a statement.
“The intercept resulted in a dangerous manoeuvre which posed a safety threat to the P-8 aircraft and its crew,” the department said.
Austrialian Defense Minister Richard Marles told local media that the Chinese plane sent out flares and shards of aluminum chaff. He called the incident “very dangerous.”
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters the government has raised its “concerns about the incident with the Chinese government.”
The South China Sea is a contested region over which China has claimed rights, while Australia has in recent years increased its defense and cooperation with the U.S. in the area.