A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft was intercepted by a People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) J-10 fighter jet off the coast of China in an “unsafe and unprofessional manner.”
The CP-140 Aurora was monitoring the shipping lanes of the East China Sea for signs of vessels trying to violate the oil embargo against North Korea.
The interception occurred on Monday and was documented by news crews from Radio Canada and Global News that happened to be on board the aircraft.
“We’re solidly in international airspace,” Maj.-Gen. Iain Huddleston, the commander of the 1st Air Division and Navy Capt. Rob Watt told reporters while looking out the window of the patrol plane at a Chinese fighter jet armed with air-to-air missiles. “That last sequence was an unprofessional intercept … It was very aggressive.”
The interception by a PLAAF J-10 fighter jet is a reminder of the complex geopolitical situation in the South China Sea, where various nations assert territorial claims. These encounters often serve as a demonstration of national sovereignty and adherence to international norms.
Having a Canadian news crew on board during the interception added a unique dimension to the incident, providing firsthand documentation of the encounter. Such incidents emphasize the importance of transparency and the role of the media in reporting on military activities in sensitive regions.