A Chinese military plane buzzed a Canadian surveillance aircraft, flying too close and using “inappropriate language,” according to a Wednesday statement by Canada’s top military commander.
The Canadian CP-140 Aurura, which has since returned home, was monitoring UN sanctions in international airspace off of North Korea in October when the Chinese plane harassed it as part of “a pattern of behavior that’s inappropriate,” revealed Canada’s Chief of the Defense Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance during a year-end interview with CBC News.
“We have been interfered with on our flights in the area and been challenged inappropriately in international airspace,” said Vance. He did not elaborate on the inappropriate language.
Vance referred questions about the specifics to National Defence officials, who were less than forthcoming.
They conceded having “contact with the Chinese Air Force operating” near North Korea and insisted that “at no time were our crews or aircraft put at risk.” –CBC
Part of a pattern
Similar incidents have been reported by Japan, Australia and New Zealand, according to the CBC.
The Canadians have come across the Chinese air force on 18 occasions over 12 missions in October. Of those, four had zero interactions with the Chinese, one had a single interaction, while seven had “multiple interactions,” according to a statement from Canadian National Defense.
Some in the diplomatic community, speaking on background Wednesday, said they see the incidents as China attempting to remind the West that they’re in a region that is very sensitive to them