China warns Canada over air patrols monitoring North Korea sanctions busting


China’s foreign ministry warned Canada on Monday of potential “severe consequences” of any “risky provocation,” after Canada’s military last week accused Chinese warplanes of harassing its patrol aircraft monitoring North Korea sanctions busting.

“The UN Security Council has never authorized any country to carry out military surveillance in the seas and airspace of other countries in the name of enforcing sanctions,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a media briefing.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that Canada was an active member of “an important mission” in the North Pacific to ensure that sanctions on North Korea are properly enforced.

Chinese aircraft had sometimes forced Canadian planes to divert from their flight paths, Canada’s military said last week.

Wu Qian, a defence ministry spokesman, said the Chinese military took reasonable measures to deal with Canada’s actions and have made “solemn representations” via diplomatic channels.

China’s defence ministry said in a statement that Canadian military jets have stepped up reconnaissance and “provocations” against China “under the pretext” of implementing UN Security Council resolutions, endangering China’s national security.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom and Yew Lun Tian, writing by Liz Lee, editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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