Chinese military pilots have reportedly been flipping the bird at their Canadian colleagues mid-air in what Ottawa labeled “unprofessional” behavior during a North Korea patrol mission.
Beijing jets were frequently flying as close as 20 to 100 feet from a Canadian plane, Canada’s Global News reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter. The sources said Canadian pilots could “make eye contact” with their Chinese counterparts and sometimes saw “them raising their middle fingers.”
The alleged gestures occurred during Operation Neon, Canada’s air mission to enforce international sanctions on North Korea.
The Canadian Armed Forces released a statement on Wednesday, accusing Chinese planes of flying dangerously close to Canada’s CP-140 Aurora naval patrol aircraft. The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) pilots “did not adhere to international air safety norms,” the statement said.