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Australia accuses China of ‘act of intimidation’ after laser aimed at aircraft -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks to media in Melbourne Commonwealth Parliament Office on February 11, 2022. Darrian Traynor/Pool via REUTERS

MELBOURNE, (Reuters) – The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has accused Beijing of an act of intimidation’ after a Chinese naval vessel fired a laser at an Australian military surveillance plane last week.

A P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft was illuminated on Thursday while flying over Australia’s northern approaches by a laser from a People’s Liberation Army–Navy (PLA-N) vessel, potentially endangering lives, the defence department said.

Morrison indicated that the government of his country will seek answers from Beijing.

Morrison stated at a briefing that “I see it only as an act of intimidation, one unprovoked and unwarranted.” And Australia won’t accept intimidation like that.”

Peter Dutton, the Defence Minister, called it “a very aggressive action” in Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Dutton stated that the Chinese government wants to make sure nobody speaks about bullying tactics. We’re witnessing different types of bullying in the region as well as elsewhere around the globe.

According to the Department, the Chinese vessel was travelling east through Arafura Sea with another PLA-N ship at the time. It lies between Australia’s north coast and New Guinea’s south coast.

Australia and China have strained relations since Canberra in 2018 banned Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. from the 5G network. The law against foreign political interference was also tightened and an independent inquiry into COVID-19’s origins was requested.

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