China accused of creating a ‘dangerous situation’ after harassing a Dutch warship with a fighter jet

The Netherlands attacked China after a pair of Xi Jinping fighter jets that circled a Dutch navy ship “several times” led to a “potentially dangerous situation” in the East China Sea.

Chinese Air Force planes circled the Dutch frigate HNLMS Tromp and one of its helicopters during a patrol.

According to the Dutch Ministry of Defense, the Chinese aircraft left the area but later returned with its own helicopter to harass the Dutch helicopter in international airspace.

The ministry said that at the time of the confrontation, Tromp was participating in patrols in support of U.N. sanctions against North Korea.

HNLMS Tromp/Xi Jinping

Chinese Air Force planes circled the Dutch frigate HNLMS Tromp and one of its helicopters

Reuters/Ministerie van Defensie

However, after Dutch authorities issued a public statement about the incident, Chinese officials reacted with fury.

A statement from China’s defense ministry said: “We strongly regret the shameful nature of the Dutch side’s words and actions and have made a solemn declaration to it.”

Ministry spokesman Zhang Xiaogang said the Dutch side “falsely claimed to be carrying out a UN mission and flexed its forces at sea and in the airspace under another country’s jurisdiction, creating tension and undermining friendly relations between the two countries.” “

Zhang added that China wanted to warn the Dutch that “the Chinese side will resolutely oppose violations and provocations.”


Chinese helicopter/Chinese jet

The Dutch Ministry of Defense published photos of the Chinese plane on the Internet

X/Ministerie van Defensie

The Dutch frigate has left the area for Japan and Hawaii for naval exercises in the Pacific with Western and regional allies as part of Exercise Valiant Shield 2024.

U.S. Navy Admiral Stephen T Koehler called VS24 “a unique opportunity to operate and engage with our allies and partners and demonstrate our shared commitment to global security and stability.”

Koehler, who commands the U.S. Pacific Fleet, added: “Maintaining a safe, stable and protected Indo-Pacific requires all of us as we leverage our common and combined capabilities to enhance operations across multiple domains.”

And the Netherlands’ complaint against China is among a growing list of concerns raised by Western ships and planes in the region.

In May, China was accused of firing flares at an Australian helicopter – which was also involved in enforcing UN sanctions on North Korea – over international waters in the Yellow Sea.

Canadian vessels also filed complaints against China for performing “dangerous” maneuvers, which China disregarded as necessary to defend itself against an unspecified “malicious and provocative act by Canada with ulterior motives.”

The U.S. Department of State mentioned his country’s efforts to “preserve the peace, maintain freedom of the seas in accordance with international law, maintain the unimpeded flow of lawful commerce, and support the peaceful resolution of disputes.”

However, Chinese military sources have long accused the United States of “creating divisions and provoking confrontation” in the region.