An Australian surveillance plane was “dangerously” intercepted by a Chinese military jet while flying over the region of the South China Sea, according to Australia’s Department of Defense on Sunday.
During its “routine maritime surveillance,” the Australian P-8 was approached by the J-16 Chinese military jet, which conducted “a dangerous maneuver,” placing the safety of the P-8 and its crew in jeopardy, the defense wrote in a statement.
The Chinese military aircraft “flew very close to the side of the [Australia] P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft” before releasing flares, Defense Minister Richard Marles described to reporters. “The J-16 then accelerated and cut across the nose of the P-8, settling in front of the P-8 at very close distance.”
“At that moment, it then released a bundle of chaff, which contains small pieces of aluminum, some of which were ingested into the engine of the P-8 aircraft,” he reported. “Quite obviously, this is very dangerous.”
“Defence has for decades undertaken maritime surveillance activities in the region and does so in accordance with international law, exercising the right to freedom of navigation and overflight in international waters and airspace,” Australia’s defense asserted in the statement Sunday.
The incident occurred on May 26th, only days after Russia and China held a joint military drill flying nuclear-capable bombers over the Sea of Japan and the South China Sea. By no coincidence, the drill took place while leaders from the United States, Australia, Japan, and India met in Tokyo for a Quad leaders summit discussing, among other things, maritime “rules-based order” in the region and combatting aggression.
At the time, Japan’s defense minister stated that the timing of the “provocative” Russian-Chinese drill indicated that it was “more than just a demonstration to Japan.”
Despite a UN tribunal voting in 2016 that China does not possess ownership of the South China Sea, Chinese authorities last August, empowered by the United States’ humiliating pull out of Afghanistan, took the opportunity to enforce its claimed “nine-dash line” maritime boundaries.
The Chinese Maritime Safety Administration insisted that it “has the power to dispel or reject a vessel’s entry to Chinese waters if the vessel is found to pose threat to China’s national security.”
In February, another Australian surveillance aircraft was also placed at risk by Communist China when it was detected that a laser was being emitted from a Chinese vessel toward the Australian P-8A Poseidon.
In May, it was additionally reported that “a Chinese intelligence ship was tracked off Australia’s west coast within 50 nautical miles of a sensitive defense facility, which is used by Australian, U.S., and allied submarines.” Although not a technical breach of law, Australia’s former defense Minister referred to the event as “an aggressive act.”
The Chinese Communist Party’s continuous aggression and threats, including nuclear, have compounded tensions within the region and globally.
All eyes have been fixed on Russia amid its war in Ukraine and endless illuding to its nuclear capabilities. Furthermore, world leaders are scrambling to make a deal with the largest state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, which is on the brink of obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Christian author Hal Lindsey recently reminded believers that “Jesus said that war and rumors of war would mark the time before His return” (Matthew 24:6).
Although war and rumors of wars have always been present, Lindsey argues that what Christ referred to was much “more extreme” and can be attributed to modern-day nuclear capabilities, which have greatly accelerated the perilous nature of threats.
“But this is a ‘lift up your heads’ kind of moment,” he encouraged, explaining that the nuclear threats and intimidation “combined with all the other signs” makes it “obvious that we are getting close to the time of Christ’s return.”