Chinese jets ‘threaten’ Dutch ship and helicopter in international airspace | World | News

A major incident in the East China Sea has seen tensions between the West and China ratchet up once again.

A Dutch ship heading for Japan was circled by two Chinese fighters, according to the country’s Ministry of Defence.

The Ministry said in a statement: “In the East China Sea earlier today, two Chinese fighter jets circled the naval ship HNLMS Tromp several times.”

A Dutch helicopter was also approached by Chinese aircraft, claimed the Ministry, which released photos of the incident on X.

The Dutch ministry added to its statement: “Additionally, the ship’s NH90 maritime combat helicopter was approached by two Chinese fighter jets and a Chinese helicopter during a patrol. This created a potentially unsafe situation. The incident took place in international airspace.

“HNLMS Tromp was conducting patrols in the East China Sea in support of a multinational UN coalition that oversees the enforcement of maritime sanctions against North Korea as defined in UN Security Council resolutions.

“HNLMS Tromp continues its journey as part of ‘Pacific Archer ’24’ as planned and is now on its way to Japan.”

There has been recent tension in the East China Sea, with Japan protesting on Friday in response to four Chinese ships, presumably armed, sailing close to disputed islands controlled by the Japanese.

Japanese government spokesman said that the incident was “the first time four [Chinese] ships carrying what appear to be cannons entered Japanese territorial waters” around the Senkaku islands.

China also claims the islands, calling them the Diaoyus, in a bitter dispute with Japan that has been ongoing for years.

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