Australian PM says China military air incident 'unacceptable'

Australia has filed a protest with China after an incident involving a Chinese fighter jet and an Australian naval helicopter over the international waters west of the Korean Peninsula.

The Australian Defense Minister says the Chinese jet dropped flares into the flight path of its helicopter on Saturday. The Australian aircraft was taking part in an operation to enforce UN sanctions against North Korea. No injuries or damage were reported.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called for an explanation from Beijing. He said, "We have made very strong representations at every level to China about the incident, which we regard as unprofessional and unacceptable."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says the fighter jet took the measure as the Australian aircraft was flying near Chinese airspace in what it called a threatening manner.

The incident is expected to be raised in talks next month between Albanese and Chinese Premier Li Qiang.