A Canadian general criticized the Chinese air force over an incident off the coast of the Asian nation that apparently saw a fighter jet cut off a patrol plane and drop flares in its path.

The episode on Monday was reported by Global News, which had journalists on the Canadian surveillance aircraft. Chinese fighters also flew within 5 meters (5.5 yards) of the plane, it added.

"They became very aggressive and to a degree we would deem it unsafe and unprofessional,” Maj. Gen. Iain Huddleston told the Canadian news outlet. Canada didn’t want to have "anything untoward happen that would result in loss of life,” he said.