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A NATO country says its warship was harassed by 2 Chinese fighter jets as it enforced sanctions on North Korea

HNLMS Tromp frigate
A photo of the HNLMS Tromp frigate shared by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Defense on June 7, 2024.

  • The Dutch Ministry of Defence said one of its warships was harassed by two Chinese fighter jets.
  • They circled the HNLMS Tromp several times last Friday over the East China Sea, it said.
  • The warship was part of efforts to enforce sanctions on North Korea.

A Dutch warship was harassed by two Chinese fighter jets last Friday as it was enforcing maritime sanctions against North Korea, according to the Netherlands’ Ministry of Defence.

The Chinese aircraft circled the HNLMS Tromp, a frigate, several times while it was in international waters, the statement said.

It added that the warship’s patrol helicopter was also “approached” by the Chinese aircraft while it was patrolling the area.

“This created a potentially unsafe situation,” the statement said.

The Netherlands, a NATO founding member, is the latest country to claim that China approached or intimidated one of its warships or aircraft in the region.

In June 2023, China conducted a risky intercept of a US spy plane over the South China Sea.

The US also released records in October 2023 reporting multiple instances of aggressive flight conduct by Chinese planes.

In April, a Chinese coastguard ship collided with a Philippine vessel inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

And as recently as May, a Chinese jet released flares close to an Australian military helicopter over the Yellow Sea.

The US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, Ely Ratner, said in 2022 that China’s increasingly aggressive behavior around the South China Sea could eventually lead to a “major incident or accident.”

According to the Dutch ministry, HNLMS Tromp had been at sea since March, sailing first to the Red Sea and then onto the Indo-Pacific in June.

It stopped in Busan, South Korea, on June 3 as part of its seven-month journey, according to a press release.

The warship was patrolling the East China Sea in support of a multinational UN group that oversees the implementation of maritime sanctions against North Korea.

It is expected to return to the Dutch city of Den Helder in mid-September, via the Panama Canal and the Caribbean Sea, the ministry said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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