Australia demands answers from China over use of laser on its Air Force jet

Seoul: Australia on Monday demanded China investigate the use of lasers to “light up” an Australian Air Force jet.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had asked the Chinese government to explain the “dangerous” and “reckless” act allegedly committed by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warship last week. “It was dangerous, it was unprofessional and it was reckless for a professional Navy, and we want some answers as to why they did it,” Morrison said. “At least, it was intimidating and intimidating.”

“They are what not only Australia needs to think about, but all the countries in our region,” he said. “It can happen to someone else who is just doing general surveillance of their exclusive economic zone.”
Morrison said Chinese officials have yet to respond to his call for answers, CNN reported.

The incident occurred on Tuesday, the statement said, when an Australian P-8A aircraft, reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft was flying over the Arafura Sea, which is in the waters between the Northern Territory of Australia and the island of New Guinea to the north. ‘s body.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ship, which pointed the laser at the Australian jet, was one of two PLAN warships sailing east across the Arafura Sea at the time, the Australian military told CNN. Told.

The Australian Defense Force released photographs of the two Chinese ships, according to their hull numbers, of the guided-missile destroyer Hefei and the amphibious transport dock Xinggang Shan, accompanying the statement.

Meanwhile, at a regular briefing in Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters that the ship was complying with international law.

Wang said, “After investigation with the relevant Chinese authorities, the information released by the Australian side is not true. The normal navigation of the Chinese ship on the high seas is in accordance with relevant international law and practice and is fully valid and valid.” “

“We urge the Australian side to respect the legitimate rights of Chinese ships in relevant waters in accordance with international law and to stop spreading false information about China.”

Earlier, the state-run Global Times accused Canberra of trying to damage Beijing’s reputation in the South Pacific, CNN reports.

The article quoted an unnamed analyst as saying, “The Australian military deliberately propagated this with the aim of throwing mud at China.”

The incident is not the first reported Chinese ships pointed lasers at Australian planes. In May 2019, Australian pilots said they had been targeted several times by commercial lasers during missions in the South China Sea.

And in a report in June 2018, US military officials told CNN that there were at least 20 suspected Chinese laser incidents in the eastern Pacific from September 2017 to June 2018.

Military tensions between China and Australia have been rising and escalated in November when Canberra said it was making a deal with the United States and the United Kingdom to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

On the day the sub-deal was announced, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Australia should “seriously consider whether to see China as a partner or a threat.” (ANI)

First published:February 21, 2022, 7:04 pm

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