NationalNews

Chinese fighter jet intercepted Australian surveillance aircraft

An Australian surveillance aircraft was intercepted by a Chinese fighter jet last month, resulting in a "dangerous manoeuvre" that risked the safety of its crew, the Department of Defence has revealed.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon was conducting routine surveillance in international airspace above the South China Sea when the incident occurred.

A Defence statement said the federal government had raised its concerns over the intercept with the Chinese government.

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A Royal Australian Air Force P-8 Poseidon aircraft was intercepted by a Chinese fighter jet, the Department of Defence says.

"Defence advises that on 26 May 2022, a RAAF P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft was intercepted by a Chinese J-16 fighter aircraft during a routine maritime surveillance activity in international airspace in the South China Sea region," a Defence statement read.

"The intercept resulted in a dangerous manoeuvre which posed a safety threat to the P-8 aircraft and its crew.

"The Australian Government has raised its concerns about the incident with the Chinese Government.

"Defence has for decades undertaken maritime surveillance activities in the region and does so in accordance with international law, exercising the right to freedom of navigation and overflight in international waters and airspace."

A Chinese J-16 fighter jet.

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China recently shelved a sweeping trade and security agreement with 10 Pacific countries after some declined to sign.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is today travelling to Indonesia.

More to come.

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