Canada has repeatedly hyped up “dangerous” interceptions by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently, but experts said on Sunday that the PLA’s lawful actions took place on China’s doorstep, and that Canada’s blind confidence could lead to troubles of its own.
In a recent event, two sorties by a vessel-borne helicopter from the Canadian Navy’s frigate HMCS Ottawa with unknown intentions approached China’s territorial airspace above the Xisha Islands, and despite the PLA naval and aviation forces’ lawful identification, verification and repeated verbal warnings, the Canadian helicopter not only refused to respond, but also took provocative maneuvers including flying at a very low altitude, Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, a spokesperson of China’s Ministry of National Defense, said in a press release on Saturday.
The Canadian move violated China’s domestic law and related international law, infringed China’s sovereignty security, and was a malicious act of provocation with ulterior motives, Zhang said.
Canada then hyped up the event through the media to throw mud at China, Zhang said, citing a statement from the Canadian Department of National Defense and media reports claiming that PLA Navy J-11 fighter jets intercepted the Canadian CH-148 helicopter by releasing flares over the South China Sea on October 29.
The measures taken by the Chinese side were professional and up to standard, Zhang said. He urged the Canadian side to stop disregarding facts and hyping, strictly restrict the activities of its frontline naval and aviation forces, and prevent accidents at sea and in the air from happening.
It marks a third provocation from the Canadian military over the past month.
In mid-October, a Canadian CP-140 reconnaissance aircraft illegally entered China’s airspace over Chiwei Islet, approached China’s eastern coast and entered the Taiwan Straits for close-in reconnaissance, forcing the PLA Air Force to take lawful management and control measures.
On Wednesday, the Canadian Navy’s HMCS Ottawa frigate made a transit through the Taiwan Straits together with the US Navy’s USS Rafael Peralta destroyer, while the PLA handled the event in accordance with the law and regulations.
However, Canada’s high-profile provocations are not based on its own capabilities, but on its military strategy of following the US, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday.
The Canadian navy is weak, and it is not easy for them to deploy frigates to the Asia-Pacific region, Song said.
“Canada is blindly confident that it is a major Western country, and it thinks too highly of its capabilities,” Song said. “In fact, if Canada keeps making troubles around China, it could get itself into trouble.”
Zhang Xuefeng, another Chinese military expert, told the Global Times on Sunday that the Canadian military should realize how sensitive it is to conduct close-in reconnaissance on China’s doorstep.
It is childish for the Canadian military to provoke China, and Canada should not misread China’s restraint, Zhang Xuefeng said.
Compared to the PLA, Canada’s military presence near China is insignificant, so Canada should know its limit and not pull the chestnut out of the fire for the benefit of the US, Zhang Xuefeng said.
Source: Global Times