In a written statement released on Saturday, Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, the Chinese Defense Spokesperson, expressed that the actions taken by the Canadian side were in violation of China’s domestic and pertinent international laws. He stated that these actions posed a threat to China’s sovereignty and security, characterizing them as provocative acts with undisclosed motives.
As per reports, the Canadian Department of National Defense released a statement indicating that a Canadian military helicopter had been intercepted by a Chinese military J-11 fighter jet in the South China Sea. Additionally, Canada’s defense minister asserted that the Chinese fighter jet’s actions during the “interception” were deemed “highly unsafe.”
In response, Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, the Chinese Defense Spokesperson, stated that the Canadian Navy’s frigate HMCS Ottawa had recently dispatched two sets of ship-borne helicopters toward the airspace around China’s Xisha islands, and their intentions were unclear. He mentioned that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army had mobilized naval and air forces to carry out identification and verification procedures according to established regulations, while also issuing multiple warnings.
However, the Canadian helicopter not only failed to respond but engaged in provocative actions, including flying at extremely low altitudes. Xiaogang further noted that the Canadian side subsequently amplified the incident through the media, accusing and disparaging China.
The spokesperson underscored that the measures adopted by the Chinese military in addressing the situation adhered to professional and established protocols. He called upon the Canadian authorities to acknowledge the factual details, refrain from sensationalizing the incident, and exercise strict control over the actions of their naval and air forces at the frontline, with the aim of averting potential maritime and aerial incidents.
The spokesperson concluded the statement by emphasizing that the Chinese military remains in a state of constant vigilance, prepared to steadfastly protect national sovereignty, security, and maritime rights and interests, all while upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea.