Chinese military aircraft apparently entered Malaysian airspace on Monday, causing the Malaysian military to scramble fighter jets to intercept them in a serious international incident.
Malaysia’s air force intercepted 16 Chinese aircraft, but China later denied being in Malaysian airspace.
“Malaysia’s stand is clear – having friendly diplomatic relations with any countries does not mean that we will compromise our national security. Malaysia remains steadfast in defending our dignity and our sovereignty,” Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in a statement that signaled the nation’s intent to file a formal diplomatic protest against China and summon the Chinese ambassador to explain the intrusion.
China has claimed that it did not enter Malaysian air space and that it “strictly complied with international law and didn’t enter the air space of any other country.”
It claimed that it only flew over what it calls the Nansha Islands, which are more generally known as the Spratly Island chain and the ownership of which are disputed by China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
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