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US says Chinese warship fired a military laser at US airplane

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The US Navy said Thursday that a Chinese military warship fired a military-grade laser at US Navy P-8 surveillance airplane a week ago while it was flying over the Pacific Ocean, an activity that the US Navy called “unsafe and unprofessional.”

The People’s Republic of China “navy destroyer’s actions were unsafe and unprofessional,” US Pacific Fleet said in an announcement Thursday.

“Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems,” the statement added.

Military-grade laser beams, once in a while known as “dazzlers,” emit a ground-breaking light emission that can travel significant distances and be utilized to illuminate airplane cockpits, temporarily blinding pilots.

Defense authorities disclosed to CNN that a formal diplomatic protest known as a démarche is relied upon to be given.

The occurrence comes amid continuing tensions between the US and Chinese militaries.

The Pentagon has more than once said that China represents an increasingly genuine risk to regional security, saying that significant Chinese interests in its military are planned for accomplishing regional dominance.

“Over time, we have watched them seize and militarize islands in the South China Sea, and rapidly modernize their armed forces, while seeking to use emerging technologies to alter the landscape of power and reshape the world in their favor … and often at the expense of others,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said earlier this month.

The US has comparably given such diplomatic protests in the past because of what the US said was Chinese military forces utilizing lasers against US airplanes.

One such occurrence occurred in the East African country of Djibouti where both the US and China keep up military bases. US authorities in 2018 accused Chinese forces stationed in Djibouti for harming US pilots with a laser that was fired at a US C-130J airplane.

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