Chinese Fighter Jet Allegedly Cuts Off Australian Plane, Dumps Debris Into Engine

Photo: STR/AFP [via Business Insider]

The Facts

  • The Australian Defense Ministry said Sun. that a Chinese fighter jet veered in front of an Australian military plane shooting off debris that entered its engine on May 26.

  • Defense minister, Richard Marles, said the Chinese aircraft released a "bundle of chaff" containing aluminum particles that were sucked into the Australian P-8's engine, causing them to return to base.


The Spin

Anti-China narrative

This was an unprovoked act of aggression. Australia was operating completely within its rights and according to international law. This incident shouldn't deter Australia from continuing to engage in its activities to protect freedom of navigation in and above the South China Sea.

Pro-China narrative

The Australian plane was dangerously near Chinese airspace despite warnings. If Canberra doesn't want to be held responsible for further consequences, it should halt its provocations of China.

Establishment-critical narrative

The West seems to think that if they put enough military pressure on China in the South China Sea, then China will back down. What they don't seem to realize is that, under Pres. Xi Jinping, the more confrontational the West becomes, the more assertive Beijing will be in response.

Nerd narrative

There is an 8% chance that there will be an armed conflict in the South China Sea before 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


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