The Philippine Coast Guard has accused China of using a “military-grade laser” against the crew of a Philippine ship in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. As noted CNN, about an incident that occurred on February 6 near the Spratly archipelago, the Philippine Coast Guard reported on its Facebook page (owned by Meta, recognized as extremist and banned in the Russian Federation). There was also a photo posted.
The Chinese ship fired a green laser beam twice at the Malapascua patrol ship, temporarily blinding its crew on the bridge. In addition, the Philippines said that the Chinese ships “performed dangerous maneuvers” approaching closer than 150 m to the Philippine one.
The Chinese Coast Guard, in turn, reported that the Philippine ship “entered the territorial waters” of China. “The Chinese maritime police ship has protected China’s sovereignty and maritime order in accordance with Chinese domestic law and international law,” a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. At the same time, the Chinese side did not specify what actions were taken against the Philippine ship.
This is not the first time that the Chinese army has been accused of using a laser to blind the crews of ships and military aircraft of other countries. For example, in February 2022, Australia claimed that a PRC warship “lit up” an Australian P-8A reconnaissance aircraft as it flew over the Arafura Sea. China called these accusations false. In February 2020, the US Navy reported that a Chinese destroyer aimed a laser at an American P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft that was patrolling over the international waters of the Pacific Ocean 380 miles (611.5 km) west of Guam.