According to the Canadian military, aircrafts flying over Asia have repeatedly been “buzzed” by Chinese fighter jets. Ottawa reports that pilots have been forced to take alternate flight paths to avoid this dangerous and provocative nuisance.
The Canadian aircraft that was buzzed is the Aurora Maritime Patrol Aircraft (CP-140) and was operating out of the Kadena Air Base in Japan from April 26 to May26.
Canada criticizes this these acts of international aviation bullying for being juvenile and dangerous. China, in spite of diplomatic requests from Canada, is yet to comment on this behavior.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister said, “The fact that China would have chosen to do this is extremely troubling.” According to Reuters, he has instructed his nation’s officials to address the matter with their Chinese counterparts and that he takes the issue “very seriously.”
Dan Le Bouthillier, Canada’s Chief of Armed Forces Media Relations said in a statement that the buzzing of their aircrafts occurred during Operation Neon, which is the role that the Canadian military plays in carrying out UN sanctions against North Korea.
Bouthillier said, “In these interactions, [the People’s Liberation Army Air Force] aircraft did not adhere to international air safety norms. These interactions are unprofessional and/or put the safety of our [Royal Canadian Air Force] personnel at risk.”
Bouthillier also commented that on several occasions, air crews on Canadian aircraft were made to feel “sufficiently at risk” enough to adjust their trajectory so as to not be struck mid-air. According to reports, the Chinese aggressors were close enough to the Canadian craft that their crews were “very clearly visible” to Canadian air crew.
This is not the first time that this kind have behavior has been reportedly exhibited by air crews of the Chinese Air Force.
In 2017, the US called Chinese pilots “unprofessional” after they came within 45 meters feet of an American plane. In 2019, two Chinese fast movers came within 300 meters of a Canadian ship.
A news agency owned by the Chinese government reported the fly-by as a “warm welcome” for the Canadian military by China’s fighting force.