BEIJING, Feb. 21 -- The Chinese PLA naval vessel maintained safe, normative and professional operations all along in the whole process when encountering the aircraft attached to the Australian Defence Force (ADF), which conforms to the International Law and related international practices, said Spokesperson Senior Colonel Tan Kefei of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Monday.
The spokesperson made the remarks in a response to the claim made by the Australian Department of Defense that a Chinese PLA naval vessel illuminated an ADF's P-8A anti-submarine patrol aircraft with the laser on February 17. The ADF condemned that the Chinese vessel made unprofessional and unsafe military conduct which endangered the safety and lives of the ADF personnel.
The Chinese defense spokesperson declared that the claim of the Australian side completely goes against the facts. He introduced that on February 17, an Australian P-8A anti-submarine patrol aircraft approached the airspace over the PLA naval fleet with the nearest distance of only 4 kilometers.
The spokesperson provided two pictures taken from the Chinese naval vessel, which clearly showed that the ADF aircraft was very close to the PLA naval vessel and even cast sonar buoy around the vessel.
Such spiteful and provocative actions by the ADF will undoubtedly result in misunderstanding and threaten the safety of aircraft, vessel and personnel of both sides, said the Chinese defense spokesperson. He also pointed out that the Australian side then deliberately spread false information and made irresponsible claim.
"China is firmly opposed to these actions by the Australia," stressed the spokesperson, adding that China urges the Australia side to stop such provocative and risky actions and groundless slander toward China, and avoid negative effects on the relationship of the two countries and two militaries.