Australian Prime Minister Morrison accuses China of intimidation practices. According to the prime minister, a Chinese navy ship beamed a laser beam at an Australian military aircraft.
The Boeing P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane was hit by a laser beam from the Chinese Navy on Thursday, according to the Australian Army. The plane was flying north of Australia at the time. The Ministry of Defense said, in a statement, that this measure could have led to life-threatening situations because people could have gone blind.
“This is nothing but an act of intimidation,” the prime minister told reporters. “A person we have not provoked and it is unfair. Australia will never accept such harassment.”
Defense Minister Dutton said what happened in the Australian Economic Zone was an “extremely aggressive act”. “I think China is hoping that no one talks about these kinds of aggressive acts and bullying,” he told Sky News. “We’re seeing different forms of it across the region, and in many parts of the world.”
Relations between Australia and China have cooled significantly in recent years, even though they are both important trading partners. Australia, among other things, has excluded Chinese telecoms company Huawei from building its 5G mobile network. Laws against foreign interference were also passed.
The Australians have also angered China by being the first to call for an independent investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
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