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HomeWorld NewsAustralia demands answers from China over alleged laser incident at sea

Australia demands answers from China over alleged laser incident at sea

What was already simmering tension between China and Australia begins to boil, as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called out the Chinese government after their alleged ‘illumination” of an Australian jet in waters off the country’s north coast allegedly carried out by a People’s Liberation Army Navy warship last week.

In his speech on Monday, Morrison addressed both his people and the Chinese government describing their alleged acts as, “intimidating and bullying.” continuing on that, “This was dangerous, it was unprofessional and it was reckless for a professional navy, and we want some answers as to why they did this…” Later that day, Morrison said he had yet to receive a response from any Chinese authorities.

The incident allegedly occurred last week when an Australian P-8A aircraft, a reconnaissance, and anti-submarine warfare plane, was flying over the Arafura Sea, the body of water between Australia’s Northern Territory and the island of New Guinea to the north.

Despite the Australian claim that no acknowledgment was made, at a regular briefing in Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters the ship was abiding by international law, “After checking with relevant Chinese authorities, the information released by the Australian side is not true. The normal navigation of the Chinese ship on the high seas conforms to relevant international law and practice and is completely legitimate and lawful, “We urge the Australian side to respect the legitimate rights of Chinese vessels in relevant waters in accordance with international law and stop maliciously spreading false information about China.”Wang said.

Once citizens began deep-diving into the situation themselves they learned Australia had failed to tell the public how close its aircraft flew near the Chinese vessels, making it hard to tell if the Chinese vessels were forced to take defensive countermeasures.

The relationship between China and Australia has been strained due to what many believe to be Australia trying to damage Beijing’s reputation in the South Pacific. A state-run tabloid, The Global Times went as far as to claim, “The Australian military knowingly hyped this with the aim of throwing mud at China,” the article said, citing an anonymous analyst. The paper claimed that Canberra was attempting to deflect attention away from the Chinese military’s aid efforts in the South Pacific, citing the recent delivery of aid to Tonga in the aftermath of a large volcanic eruption and tsunami, as well as the shipping of Covid medical supplies.

Without regard to the idea that Australia is trying to throw dirt on China’s name, many believe that wrongdoings were made. A former Australian Air Force officer, Peter Layton, believes that there had to be some foul play involved saying, “The PLA Navy is a highly disciplined navy and there will be several Communist Party political officers on board to advise the captain and make sure he acts in accordance with Party guidance. This means this is not an accident but is a purposeful act, authorized at the highest levels,”
Australia released photos of the two Chinese ships with the statement, Australia did not say which of the two ships they believe was pointing the laser at the Australian aircraft. It is also imperative to acknowledge this is not an isolated incident. In May of 2019, a group of Australian pilots said they were targeted multiple times by commercial lasers during missions over the South China Sea.

Most relationships fluctuate, with varying levels of closeness and varying levels of trueness. It seems that for this moment the relationship between the two countries will remain civil, but stern in their affiliations with each other for the time being.



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