According to Reuters’s report on Feb. 22, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison views that Australia’s maritime patrol aircraft did the right thing when it was “put under threat” by a laser from a Chinese navy vessel.

Morrison mentioned on Feb.17, lasers from a Chinese vessel that was sailing with another Chinese warship closing to Australia’s north coast irradiated a P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft.

On Feb. 21, China’s defense ministry said that Australia’s patrol aircraft had dropped a sonobuoy near the Chinese ships and considered this as a “provocative and dangerous” activity.

On the China side, after being asked about Morrison’s statement and a question that if China’s vessel lasered Australia’s patrol aircraft, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said, “We firmly oppose this, and urge the Australian side to reflect on itself, refrain from maliciously spreading disinformation and starting deliberate provocation.”

On Feb.22, Australia’s defense department said, in response to this situation, the surveillance aircraft dropped sonobuoys, a portmanteau of sonar and buoy which is 13 cm diameter and 91 cm long. According to the department, the sonobuoys can help detect submarines.

Morrison said, “Our surveillance planes have every right to be in our exclusive economic zone and keeping a close eye on what people are up to. The fact they were put under threat is extremely disappointing.”

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