A Chinese J-16 jet flew “very close” to a RAAF P-8A Poseidon, set off flares and dropped chaff in its path as it conducted routine surveillance in the South China Sea on May 26.
A defence spokesperson has confirmed to 9news.com.au that another mission was conducted in the same region soon afterwards.
“Defence can confirm that a RAAF P-8A Poseidon flew a scheduled mission on 27 May 2022 in the vicinity of the South China Sea, the day following the incident,” the spokesperson said.
The interception on May 26 happened in international waters off the coast of the Philippines, where the RAAF plane took off.
Earlier this month China said the first RAAF Poseidon had entered the airspace close to Xisha Islands for closer surveillance.
“The Australian military aircraft seriously threatened China’s sovereignty and security, and the response measures taken by the Chinese military were professional, safe, reasonable and legal,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.
“The Australian side sought to confound black and white and repeatedly spread the false narrative which is aimed at inciting antagonism and confrontation.”
Zhao then issued a warning.
“We urge the Australian side to immediately stop such dangerous and provocative acts and seriously dissuade its air and naval forces from such acts,” he said.
“Otherwise, any serious consequence arising therefrom shall be borne by the Australian side.”
Some of the aluminium chaff dropped by the Chinese J-16 jet entered one of the Poseidon’s engines.
Chaff can be seriously damaging to a jet engine and has the potential to cause a crash.
The Poseidon was able to return to base safely.
The Xisha Islands, also known as the Paracel Islands, are a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea.
China, Vietnam and Taiwan all claim de jure sovereignty over the islands, though China has taken control of them.
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