Chinese jets fly “dangerously close” to Canadian air patrols

Aircraft of China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) have been buzzing Canadian aircraft with disregard for safety, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) claim. 

A strongly-worded statement published by the CAF on June 1, 2022, said a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft had “interactions” with PLAAF aircraft that “did not adhere to international air safety norms.” 

In some instances, RCAF aircraft had to maneuver to avoid coming too close to the Chinese planes, the statement explains. On certain occasions the aircraft have been coming so close that Canadian pilots could maintain eye contact with their Chinese counterparts and even see them raising middle fingers, unnamed sources within the Canadian federal government told Global News. 

The interactions happened as the CP-140s have been conducting operation NEON, a UN-sanctioned series of patrols called to enforce international sanctions on North Korea. 

Chinese aircraft have intercepted RCAF CP-140s over 60 times since December 2021, and at least 24 of such interceptions have been conducted in a manner deemed dangerous, Global News sources explain. 

The CAF stated that the occurrences have been addressed through diplomatic channels.  

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