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Chinese flares: Fighter jet harasses Australian military helicopter

Chinese flares: Fighter jet harasses Australian military helicopter

Chinese fire torches
A fighter jet harasses an Australian military helicopter

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China claims sovereignty over the South China Sea, leading to frequent clashes with other countries on the strategically important trade and shipping route. This time, a Chinese fighter jet launched its traps at an Australian helicopter – a dangerous mission.

A Chinese fighter jet fired flares near an Australian military helicopter in the South China Sea, according to the Australian government. Defense Minister Richard Marles said that the incident of so-called decoys (flares) occurred on Saturday evening over international waters and spoke of an “unsafe and unprofessional” approach by the Chinese.

Marles told 9News that the fighter jet fired the flares about 300 meters in front of the Seahawk helicopter from a slightly elevated position. The Australian pilots, who were on routine patrol, had to take evasive action to avoid being hit. Contact with the torches could have been life-threatening to the crew. The government has officially communicated its concerns about the incident to Beijing. “This incident is completely unacceptable,” Marles stressed.

The military helicopter took off from the Australian destroyer HMAS Hobart, which is participating in Operation Argos, a United Nations mission in the South China Sea. This is intended to prevent North Korea from smuggling sanctioned goods across the sea.

China effectively claims the entire South China Sea for itself. It is considered a trade and shipping route of strategic importance. There are always incidents with other countries. Two years ago, the Australian government accused China of using a dangerous aviation maneuver to harass an Australian P-8 reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea.

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