Over the weekend, Defence reported an incident in which a People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang J-16 strike fighter intercepted a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8 Poseidon conducting “routine maritime surveillance activity” in international airspace over the South China Sea.
During the incident, which took place on 26 May, the fighter jet cut across the nose of the Australian surveillance platform, releasing a “bundle of chaff” ingested into the RAAF aircraft’s engine.
The “very dangerous” manoeuvre was condemned by Defence Minister Richard Marles, who said it would not deter the RAAF from conducting future missions over disputed territory.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese later revealed the government had made “appropriate representations” to the Chinese government expressing concern over the incident.
On the same day, a Chinese aircraft confronted a Canadian military aircraft enforcing United Nations sanctions along the border with North Korea, failing to adhere to international air safety norms.
These incidents came just days after Chinese and Russian bombers flew over the Sea of Japan and East China Sea during the Quad leaders’ meeting in Tokyo.