China and Australia had just opened up diplomatic conversations about a month ago. But this stalemate is being challenged by conflicts occurring in their airforce operations.
Last May, Australia started sending in aircraft for military surveillance in the South China Sea Region. According to the Australian Defense Department of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), their P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft was intercepted by China’s J-16 fighter during a “routine maritime surveillance activity.”
“The intercept resulted in a dangerous maneuver which posed a safety threat to the P-8 aircraft and its crew,” it said.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said their government underwent rigorous approval to ensure their flight was legal and not harmful. These routine flights were in no way detrimental to the Chinese government.