CCP Fires ‘Military Grade Lasers’ at Philippine Ships in the South China Sea

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Monday accused China’s coast guard of shining a “military-grade laser” on one of its ships in the disputed South China Sea, causing “temporary blindness” for many of its crew. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) pointed out in a statement that the incident occurred on February 6th, at a place nearly 20 kilometers away from the Spratly Islands guarded by the Philippine Marine Corps—Second Thomas Shoal. The Filipino government ships provided food and supplies to the military personnel, but China Coast Guard fired “military-grade lasers” at least twice towards the crew. While the Filipino soldiers were “temporarily blinded” by the laser irradiation, the China Coast Guard ship approached within 140 meters of the Philippine ship. The Philippines believes that this is an obvious provocation, and it is also a blatant disregard and clear violation of their sovereign rights. In fact, this is not the first time that the CCP has deliberately obstructed Philippine’s governmental ships from getting close to the guarding forces. In August last year, the Philippine Coast Guard once complained that the CCP coast guard and maritime militia blocked and prevented supplies from entering the Second Thomas Shoal guarded by the Philippine Marine Corps. The CCP has always claimed to have sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, even though the Permanent Court of Arbitration has ruled that the CCP’s claim has no legal basis. The CCP still ignores the arbitration and provokes incidents many times to declare its sovereignty over the South China Sea. In January of this year, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping agreed to establish a direct diplomatic communication channel between the two countries to avoid “bad communication” on the South China Sea issue again. It is not known whether this incident will trigger the two countries opening a direct pipeline. Presently, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the CCP, responded to this matter at a regular press conference. What is astonishing is that instead of apologizing for this provocative behavior, he praised the CCP Coast Guard for its “professional restraint,” which he claimed, was Communist China’s counterattack to the Philippines’ violation of sovereignty, because Second Thomas Shoal is “part of the CCP’s Spratly Islands.”

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