MADRID, Feb. 20 (Royals Blue) –
Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton has denounced the use of a “military-grade laser” from a Chinese warship against an Australian P-8A Poseidon fighter jet, which Canberra calls “intimidation”.
The incident occurred on Thursday, but until this weekend the Australian authorities have not reported the incident, which they have described as “unprofessional and unsafe”.
For Dutton it is a “deliberate and aggressive” attack, according to statements to the Australian chain Seven Network. “Some of our people could have gone blind. It’s not the kind of laser you see from time to time in the hands of children. It’s important to understand that this is a military-grade laser,” she said.
The ships involved would be a Luyang-class missile destroyer — from which the laser departed — and a Yuzhao-class amphibious transport ship. The incident occurred north of the Australian city of Darwin.
Dutton has denied publicizing the incident to heighten tension with China. “It is reasonable for Defense to report on the Chinese and express our discontent,” she argued. “You can’t deal with a bully in the schoolyard or at work if you’re in a position of weakness. You have to stand up and respond to that aggression,” she added.