BEIJING, June 7 -- On June 7, 2022, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND), responded to the reporter's question on the recent China-Australia military aircraft encounter.
Reporter: The Australian Department of Defence said in a recent statement that an Australian warplane was intercepted by a Chinese military aircraft on May 26 while conducting the reconnaissance mission in airspace over the South China Sea. The Australian side also claimed that "the intercept resulted in a dangerous maneuver which posed a safety threat to the P-8 aircraft and its crew". What is China's comment on that?
Chinese Defense Spokesperson Senior Colonel Tan Kefei: On May 26, an Australian P-8A anti-submarine patrol aircraft entered the airspace near China's Xisha Islands for close-in reconnaissance and continuously approached China's territorial airspace over the Xisha Islands in disregard of repeated warnings from the Chinese side. The Chinese PLA Southern Theater Command dispatched naval and air forces to identify and verify the Australian warplane and warn it off. The Australian warplane has seriously threatened China's sovereignty and security and the countermeasures taken by the Chinese military are professional, safe, reasonable and legitimate. It is the Australia side that confuses black and white, repeatedly disseminates false information and instigates the hostility and confrontation. China firmly opposes all such deeds. We urge the Australian side to immediately stop such dangerous and provocative acts and strictly restrict the operations of its naval and air forces, or it will bear all the serious consequences arising therefrom.