Beijing says it will "never allow any country to infringe upon China's sovereignty and security under the pretext of freedom of navigation".

China says its military has always conducted operations in a
China says its military has always conducted operations in a "safe, standard and professional manner" in line with international law. (Getty Images)

China has defended its military pilots, saying they acted properly and were protecting its sovereignty, following a spate of Canadian and Australian military aircraft traveling near Chinese territory.  

Canada and Australia say that Chinese planes engaged in risky manoeuvres with their aircraft over the Pacific.

Defence Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said on Monday that China “swiftly took reasonable, forceful and professional measures in response to Canada’s provocative acts and unfriendly and unprofessional operations.”

Last week, the Canadian military accused Chinese planes of not following international safety norms on several occasions and putting a Canadian crew at risk. 

A June 1 statement said the Chinese planes tried to divert a Canadian long-range patrol aircraft from its path, and that the crew had to change direction quickly to avoid a potential collision.

“Such interactions ... are of concern and of increasing frequency,” the statement said.

The Canadian plane was deployed from April 26 to May 26 to join other countries in watching for fuel transfers between ships at sea that could be helping North Korea evade UN sanctions over its missile and nuclear tests.

READ MORE: Canada accuses China of harassing its aircraft on N Korea sanctions mission

Risky, provocative acts

Wu said in a statement that Canada has stepped up close reconnaissance of China under the pretext of implementing UN sanctions. 

He said Canada would bear responsibility for any serious consequences from what he called its risky and provocative acts.

In a separate incident, newly elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, on a visit to Indonesia on Monday, called the May 26 actions of a Chinese fighter jet a dangerous act of aggression against an Australian air force plane conducting aerial surveillance in the South China Sea.

The Chinese J-16 accelerated and cut in front of the Australian plane, releasing chaff with small bits of aluminium that was sucked into the latter's engine, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said Sunday.

China's Defence Ministry has not commented on the incident.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the Chinese military always conducts operations based on international law and practice and in a safe and professional manner.

“We urge Australia to respect China’s national security interests and major concerns, and to be cautious with its words and deeds so as to avoid a miscalculation that could cause serious consequences,” he said.

Zhao said China would not allow any country to violate its sovereignty in the name of freedom of navigation.

READ MORE: Japan, US carry out joint air manoeuvres in response to Russia-China flight

Source: TRTWorld and agencies