Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Ryan Saavedra.
Communist China fired a military grade laser at a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft that was flying near Guam in mid-February, according to a statement from the US Pacific Fleet late last week.
"U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft was lased by People's Republic of China (PRC) navy destroyer 161 on Feb. 17 while flying in airspace above international waters approximately 380 miles west of Guam,"
the U.S. Pacific Fleet said. "The P-8A was operating in international airspace in accordance with international rules and regulations. ... The laser, which was not visible to the naked eye, was captured by a sensor onboard the P-8A. Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems."
China is widely considered to be the biggest national security threat to the United States from both a military and economic standpoint.
Currently, the communist nation is dealing with an epidemic of the coronavirus, which originated inside its borders. As The Daily Wire reported
last week, the Chinese government's handling of the crisis has been extremely widely criticized:
- China lied to the world about the outbreak; punished journalists and doctors who sounded the alarm on the outbreak; and refused to allowed the CDC into the country to help contain the outbreak and research the coronavirus.
- Instead, China has falsely blamed the United States for spreading panic and fear over the outbreak because the U.S. has taken aggressive steps to contain the outbreak.
The outbreak, which numerous top officials around the world have said should not cause people to panic, has spread to approximately 60 countries around the world.
In an effort to prevent the further spread of the virus, the U.S. Navy ordered
all ships that have visited countries in the Pacific region to self-quarantine for 2 weeks as a precaution.
Full statement from the U.S. Pacific Fleet on communist China opening fire on a U.S. military aircraft:
- A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft was lased by People's Republic of China (PRC) navy destroyer 161 on Feb. 17 while flying in airspace above international waters approximately 380 miles west of Guam.
- The P-8A was operating in international airspace in accordance with international rules and regulations. The PRC navy destroyer's actions were unsafe and unprofessional.
- Additionally, these acts violate the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), a multilateral agreement reached at the 2014 Western Pacific Naval Symposium to reduce the chance of an incident at sea. CUES specifically addresses the use of lasers that could cause harm to personnel or damage to equipment. The destroyer's actions were also inconsistent with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between U.S. Department of Defense and the Ministry of National Defense of the PRC regarding rules of behavior for safety of air and maritime encounters.
- The laser, which was not visible to the naked eye, was captured by a sensor onboard the P-8A. Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems.
- The P-8A is assigned to VP-45, based out of Jacksonville, Florida, and is forward-deployed to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. The squadron conducts routine operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
- U.S Navy aircraft routinely fly in the Philippine Sea and have done so for many years. U.S. Navy aircraft and ships will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.
- U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest numbered fleet in the world, and with the help of 35 other maritime-nation allies and partners, the U.S. Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific region for more than a century, providing credible, ready forces to help preserve peace and prevent conflict.