Chinese jets 'buzz' Canadian warships - RTHK
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Chinese jets 'buzz' Canadian warships

2019-06-28 HKT 08:33
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  • Canada said HMCS Regina was passing through the East China Sea. Image: Shutterstock
    Canada said HMCS Regina was passing through the East China Sea. Image: Shutterstock
Two Canadian naval vessels were "buzzed" by Chinese fighter jets when they sailed through the East China Sea this week, the Canadian military said on Thursday.

A Canadian navy helicopter was also targeted by a laser detected from a nearby fishing boat, it said.

There were no injuries nor damage, but the revelations come amid heightened tensions between the two nations over Canada's arrest of a senior telecoms executive last December and China's detention of two Canadian nationals in apparent retaliation.

Canada's defence ministry said the frigate HMCS Regina and support vessel Asterix were in "international waters in the East China Sea" when two Chinese Su-30 fighter jets "passed the ship at a range of approximately 300 metres and an altitude of approximately 100 feet (30 metres)."

The so-called "buzzing" happened on Monday at around 3.30 pm local time, it said.

The ships had been shadowed by several Chinese vessels and aircraft as they transited through the maritime region.

Ottawa described the interactions as "professional and cordial," adding that the Chinese fly-past was "not hazardous, nor unexpected" given the naval operation's proximity to China.

Relations between China and Canada deteriorated since December when police in Vancouver detained Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on a US arrest warrant.

Days later China arrested two Canadians – Hong Kong-based former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor – in what is widely seen as a tit-for-tat move.

Leaders of the two nations, both in Japan for G20 talks this week, have not spoken since.