Chinese Ship Harasses Philippine Coast Guard Vessel with Laser in South China Sea
The Chinese ship also "made dangerous maneuvers" in approaching within 150 yards (137 meters) of the Philippine vessel, the Philippine Coast Guard alleged in a statement posted on its official Facebook page, with photos purporting to show the laser's green beam, reported CNN.
"The PCG condemns any actions that harm and jeopardize the safety of everyone regardless of nationality," PCG commandant Adm. Artemio Abu said.
Meanwhile, China's Foreign Ministry said Monday the Philippine vessel "trespassed into the waters of Renai Reef without the permission of the Chinese side," reported CNN.
"The Chinese maritime police vessel defended China's sovereignty and maritime order in accordance with China's domestic law and international law," spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, without specifying what action the Chinese side took.
Notably, China claims "indisputable sovereignty" over almost all of the 1.3 million square miles South China Sea, as well as most of the islands within it. That includes the Spratlys, an archipelago consisting of 100 small islands and reefs also claimed in full or part by the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
Beijing has been trying for years to prevent the Philippine Navy's resupply missions in Ayungin Shoal and has displayed new tactics over the past few months.
The reported incidents, disclosed to the public for the first time, follow a pattern of Chinese forces harassing other countries with lasers.
In February 2022, Australia alleged a People's Liberation Army Navy warship "illuminated" an Australian P-8A aircraft, a reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare plane, as it was flying over the Arafura Sea, the body of water between Australia's Northern Territory and the island of New Guinea to the north.
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