Australia wants ‘full investigation’ into China laser incident – Morrison


SYDNEY, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said a Chinese navy ship that pointed a laser at an Australian defense plane was potentially visible from the Australian mainland, as Canberra demands an “investigation comprehensive” of Beijing.

Morrison told the radio on Monday that his government had not received an explanation from China for the incident last Thursday, which Canberra considered a “dangerous and reckless act”.

A Chinese navy ship in Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone aimed a laser at an Australian military plane flying over Australia’s northern approaches, illuminating the plane and potentially endangering lives, a source said. said the Australian defense on Saturday. Read more

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The P-8A Poseidon – a maritime patrol aircraft – detected a laser emanating from a People’s Liberation Army – Navy (PLA-N) ship, the Defense Ministry said, releasing photographs of the two ships Chinese sailing near the northern coast of Australia.

A Chinese missile destroyer and an amphibious transport dock were sailing east through the Arafura Sea between New Guinea and Australia at the time of the incident, then crossed the narrow Torres Strait.

“It’s possible people could even see the ship from our mainland, potentially,” Morrison told reporters in Tasmania on Monday.

Australia had called through diplomatic and defense channels for “a full investigation into this event”, he told local radio.

He likened the incident to a hypothetical situation of an Australian frigate pointing a laser at a Chinese surveillance plane in the Taiwan Strait, adding: “Can you imagine their reaction to that in Beijing?”

The Chinese Embassy in Canberra did not respond to a request for comment. Beijing has not publicly commented on the incident.

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Reporting by Kirsty Needham; Edition by Lincoln Feast.

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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