China slams Japan over close military jet encounter

Saturday, December 10, 2016
By Paul Martin

RT.com
10 Dec, 2016

The Chinese Defense Ministry expressed “grave concern” over what it called “two Japanese F-15 fighter jets’ interference” in Chinese Air Forces’ training in the Western Pacific. The incident resulted in a close encounter between Chinese and Japanese military jets.

According to a statement released by the Chinese ministry, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) scrambled two F-15 fighter jets to shadow Chinese warplanes that were flying over the Miyako Strait as part of a “routine training exercise in the Western Pacific.”

The ministry’s spokesman, Senior Colonel Yang Yujun, said in the statement that the Japanese jets “endangered the safety of the Chinese aircraft and the crew” by approaching at a close range and “launching jamming shells.”

He then went on to stress that the Miyako Strait that lies between Japanese Miyako Island and Okinawa Island is an international waterway and China’s military training there is “in line with related international laws and practices.”

Yang also said that the exercises were “within its annual training plan” and were “not directed at any particular country or target.” He denounced the Japan’s actions as “dangerous and unprofessional” and stressed that such behavior threatens the freedom of navigation and over-flight.

“It must be pointed out that the various interferential activities initiated by the Japanese military aircraft and ships in recent years can easily lead to misunderstanding and misjudgment, resulting in disputes and even conflicts in the sea and air space,” Yang added.

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