Beijing Refutes Overdue Report It Fired Laser at US Navy Surveillance Plane

The US called out China more than a week after Beijing allegedly fired a laser weapon at the Pentagon’s P-8A Poseidon, with Chinese defence authorities arguing the “aircraft’s behaviour was unfriendly in intention”.

China’s Defence Ministry has dismissed as incorrect a report that one of its ships fired a laser last month at a US Navy surveillance plane: it “does not accord with reality”, the ministry said in a statement, with spokesman Ren Guoqiang quoted on Friday as saying that a Chinese squadron was conducting routine drills in international waters on 17 February when the incident allegedly took place.

In Beijing’s first comments on the US report, Ren took aim at an American P-8A Poseidon, stating it was carrying out “long-period circling reconnaissance at low-altitude despite repeated warnings from the Chinese side”.

“The American aircraft’s behaviour was unfriendly in intention and unprofessional by operation, which severely threatened the safety of the vessels, aircraft, and crew of both sides”, he explained.

More than a week passed after the alleged incident before the US accused the Chinese ship of firing a laser at a US surveillance aircraft while it was over the Philippine Sea west of Guam, a US island in Micronesia, in the Western Pacific – something the US has raged about as unsafe and in violation of international accords.

According to a statement by the US Pacific Fleet, although the laser was not visible to the naked eye, it was detected by…

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