Australia says a Chinese warship fired a laser on its patrol aircraft

Brisbane, Australia (AP) —The Australian Department of Defense said a Chinese Navy vessel fired a laser at one of its surveillance aircraft, endangering the lives of its crew.

The incident occurred on Thursday when the P-8A Poseidon plane detected a laser illuminating the aircraft while flying over Australia’s northern approach, the agency said.

Such episodes are due to accusing the United States and its allies of claiming China’s military power and taking steps to challenge Beijing’s growing influence in the Western Pacific and elsewhere. It’s not unusual.

The ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the laser came from a PLA Navy vessel. He was accompanied by another Chinese ship that passed through the Torres Strait. Both ships were now in the Coral Sea east of Australia, it said.

“Aircraft lighting by Chinese vessels is a serious safety issue,” the Pentagon said. “We strongly condemn non-professional and unsafe military actions. These actions can jeopardize the safety and life of ADF personnel.”

Lasers can hurt pilots or temporarily blind them when pointed at an aircraft, causing serious problems. This can pose a safety risk, especially during takeoff and landing.

Two years ago, the United States also accused the Chinese Navy’s Poseidon of firing a single laser when flying over the Pacific Ocean. China denied it, saying the plane swirled over the warship at low altitude, despite repeated warnings.

2019, Royal Australian Navy helicopter pilot reportedly attacked by laser They landed as a precautionary measure while exercising in the South China Sea. 2018, U.S. has filed a formal complaint with the Chinese government About the use of a high-definition laser aimed at an aircraft near a military base in Djibouti, causing minor injuries to two American pilots.

Tensions are rising, especially in the South China Sea, where Beijing claims almost entirely, while the United States and its allies claim freedom of navigation and flying over the high seas.

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