Chinese fighter jets harass Dutch frigate in East China Sea

Dutch Ministry of Defence /

The Dutch Ministry of Defense reported on June 7, 2024, that two Chinese fighter jets harassed the Dutch frigate HNLMS Tromp in the East China Sea.

Additionally, a pair of Chinese fighter jets and a helicopter approached the ship’s NH90 maritime attack helicopter while on patrol, creating a potentially unsafe situation in international airspace.

The Dutch Ministry shared photos depicting a Xi’an JH-7 “Flounder” two-seater ground attack aircraft and a Harbin Z-19 attack helicopter.

HNLMS Tromp was patrolling the East China Sea as part of a multinational UN group monitoring maritime sanctions enforcement against North Korea, per UN Security Council resolutions. Despite the incident, HNLMS Tromp continued its mission and sailed towards Japan.

HNLMS Tromp (Credit: Dutch Ministry of Defence)

Escalating interference in UN sanctions enforcement efforts

Similar incidents have occurred recently within the same UN mission. On May 4, 2024, the Australian guided-missile destroyer HMAS Hobart faced interference from a PLAAF J-10 fighter while its MH-60R Seahawk helicopter was conducting routine operations in the Yellow Sea as part of Operation Argos, Australia’s contribution to UN sanctions enforcement against North Korea.

Additionally, on October 16, 2023, a Royal Canadian Air Force Lockheed CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft was intercepted by two PLAAF fighters over the East China Sea while monitoring transport vessels around North Korea. The Canadian military described the Chinese maneuvers as “very aggressive.”

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