Chinese military releases video showing Australian Defense Force plane flying ‘harmfully’ in laser encounter

The Chinese military released a 12-second video claiming to show an Australian surveillance plane flying “maliciously” and “unprofessionally” near People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) warships.

Last month, Australia accused the Chinese military of endangering lives during the encounter, when a laser was pointed at an RAAF P-8 Poseidon as it surveyed two warships. war sailing east through the Arafura Sea.

Now China’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has retaliated again, releasing a brief video clip recorded on the deck of a warship, claiming to show the RAAF aircraft flying nearby in a “harmful” manner. “.

“It is evident from the video taken by the Chinese navy vessel that the Australian military aircraft was carrying out close reconnaissance of the Chinese navy vessels,” said MND spokesman Senior Colonel Tan Kefei.

“The conduct of the Australian military aircraft was malicious in intent and unprofessional in its operation and posed threats to the safety of vessels, aircraft and personnel on both sides.”

Australian officials skeptical of authenticity of video

Australian government figures have expressed strong skepticism about the authenticity of the 12-Second Vision, which was first published last week but has not been widely publicized so far.

“You wouldn’t even know if it was our plane – it’s like [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov saying they didn’t bomb the Ukrainian hospital, it’s just a joke,” a senior minister told the ABC.

The Australian Defense Force accused one of the Chinese warships of aiming the laser at an RAAF aircraft over the Arafura Sea.(Provided: Australian Government)

Another government official described the video as “the most vague footage”, noting that the Australian Defense Force said its P-8 Poseidon remained about 4 kilometers from the Chinese ships.

In a Feb. 22 statement, the Ministry of Defense insisted the RAAF aircraft were “acting within international law at all times” when it was hit by the Chinese laser.

“The laser was detected as emanating from a People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) vessel. The illumination of the aircraft by the Chinese vessel is a serious security incident,” it said. he declares.

“At the time of the laser incident, the RAAF P-8 was approximately 7.7 kilometers from the PLA-N vessel and was flying at an altitude of 457 m.”

Chinese officials have not previously denied that the PLA-N used a laser against the Australian surveillance plane, although the ABC understands that Beijing has since said in official correspondence that this never happened.

In February, China’s Ministry of National Defense said the PLA-N was “maintaining safe, normative and professional operations” and accused the Australian side of spreading “false information” and making an “irresponsible assertion”.

Australian P-8 carrying out surveillance missions in the East China Sea

As Australian and Chinese officials continue to disagree over the February laser incident, the Ministry of Defense has confirmed that an RAAF P-8 Poseidon recently carried out surveillance patrols in the East China Sea. .

According to a pro-China government website that publishes military material and tracks activities in the South China Sea, an Australian surveillance plane was observed taking off from Japan’s Kadena Air Base on February 24, heading towards mainland China.

In response to questions about the surveillance mission, a Defense spokesperson told the ABC: “Our maritime surveillance patrols are not directed to any particular country.”

“Australian Defense Force (ADF) maritime surveillance patrols are part of our routine deployments to the region and are conducted in accordance with international law.

“These patrols are part of Defense’s longstanding contribution to preserving security and stability in the region,” the spokesperson added.

“Australia has a strong interest in the security and stability of vital waterways such as the South China Sea.”

An RAAF Poseidon P8-A is currently deployed to Japan on Operation ARGOS, Australia’s commitment to support the enforcement of United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea.

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