China defence ministry: Canadian military helicopter in South China Sea violated laws

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s defence ministry said on Saturday that a Canadian military helicopter with “unknown intentions” in the South China Sea violated Chinese and international laws.

The move also jeopardised China’s sovereignty and security, and was a “malicious” and “provocative” act with “ulterior motives”, a spokesman at the ministry said in a statement.

Canada’s defence minister on Friday accused Chinese warplanes of buzzing the Canadian helicopter over international waters in the South China Sea the previous weekend and firing flares at it, putting the crew in danger.

China’s response was professional and in line with norms, the defence ministry spokesman said.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo and Shanghai Newsroom; editing by Jason Neely)