Chinese fighter jet intercepts and releases metal shards into planes flown by US allies

A Chinese fighter jet intercepted an Australian surveillance plane and released metal shrapnel into the plane’s engine, the Australian Department of Defense said on Monday.

A Chinese man J-16 fighter jet allegedly threw flares and ‘cut off the nose’ of an Australian P-8 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft while conducting routine surveillance in the South China Sea region on May 26, 2022, according to statements done by Richard Marles, Australian Minister of Defence. The Chinese fighter then allegedly dropped a “chaff packet” containing small pieces of aluminum that were sucked into the P-8’s engine, Marles said. (RELATED: China is poised to exploit serious weaknesses in US military power, analyst warns)

“The P-8 crew responded professionally, and in a way that would make us all proud, they got the plane back to base,” Marles said.

However, Marles declined to identify where in the South China Sea the incident took place when asked by a reporter. (RELATED: China fears US military is secretly training Taiwanese forces for attrition war)

“I’m not going to answer that. I know the answer to that, but we’ll keep it out of the public domain,” Marles said. “It was in the South China Sea region though.”

China’s state-run media, Global Times, published a editorial contesting the statements of the Australian Minister of Defense on Monday. Without directly contradicting any of Marles’ statements, the Global Times editorial asked about the exact location of the incident and asked what the Australian P-8 was doing just before the arrival of the Chinese fighter jet. D-16, according to a Daily Caller Translation of the News Foundation.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attends the Quad Leaders Summit in Tokyo, Japan May 24, 2022. (Yuichi Yamazaki/Pool via REUTERS)

The Chinese Embassy referred TheDCNF to statements made by Zhao Lijian, Deputy Director of Foreign Affairs of China, during a press conference Monday in Beijing.

“China will never allow any country to violate China’s sovereignty and security or undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea under the guise of freedom of navigation,” Zhao said. “China once again urges the Australian side to sincerely respect China’s national security interests and major concerns, and exercise caution in words and actions to avoid miscalculations and serious consequences. “

The Ministry of Defence, the Australian Embassy and the Global Times did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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