Malaysia Deploys Fighter Jets to Intercept 16 Chinese Military Planes Off Borneo Coast – The Malaysian air force deployed fighter jets for 16 Chinese military aircraft off the coast of Malaysia which is located on the island of Borneo. The incident occurred on Monday (31/5/2021).

In a statement, the Malaysian Air Force said a number of Chinese Air Force carrier types approached the area in tactical formation and were about 96 km from the coastline.

Read also: US condemns China’s increased military flights in the South China Sea

Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein condemned the Chinese military action and considered it a disruption to territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Both China and Malaysia are known to have territorial claims in the territorial waters.

As the series of planes drew closer, fighter jets from the Malaysian Air Force were deployed to intercept them so that the planes did not approach Malaysian airspace.

“This incident is very serious because it relates to state sovereignty and aviation safety,” said Malaysian authorities.

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Reported AFP, The Malaysian Air Force called the appearance of the planes suspicious. Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the 16 Chinese military planes flew over the Malaysian maritime zone.

Also read: The Philippines is Ready to Deploy Military Ships to the South China Sea

The Malaysian Foreign Ministry will then file a protest to Beijing, and call on the Chinese Ambassador to provide an explanation.

“Malaysia’s attitude is clear – having friendly diplomatic relations with any country does not mean we will endanger our national security,” said Foreign Minister Hishammuddin.

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“Malaysia remains steadfast in defending our dignity and sovereignty,” he continued.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, and builds bases on islands around the waters. The actions of one of the world’s economic giants have angered other countries who feel they have rights to the waters.

Although Malaysia and China have their respective claims to the South China Sea, relations between China and Malaysia are still maintained despite Monday’s incident being unusual.

Also read: 3 reasons China claims almost the entire South China Sea

Apart from Malaysia, the countries that also claim the South China Sea are Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, and Taiwan.

Last year a Chinese survey vessel was involved in lengthy negotiations with a Malaysian oil exploration vessel off the coast of Kalimantan.

(Author : Aditya Jaya Iswara | Editor : Aditya Jaya Iswara)


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