US Claims Chinese Lasers Injured Two Pilots, Threatens 'Consequences'

Chinese Military Targeting US Flight Crews Over Djibouti With Lasers - Reports

China uses military lasers to interfere with US aircraft in Africa; pilots hurt

"We have formally demarched the Chinese government, and we've requested that the Chinese investigate these - these incidents", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said at a news briefing. Mr. Meeks, a former pilot and Air Force colonel, had a previous assignment at U.S. Pacific Command.

The base, finished late past year, sparked fears from Washington that the Chinese were conjuring plans to escalate surveillance operations of United States counterterrorism operations in Somalia and Yemen.

White said she was "confident" that whoever had shone the high-powered lasers was Chinese.

Military-grade laser beams, occasionally known as "dazzlers", emit a powerful beam of light that can travel great distances and be used to illuminate aircraft cockpits, temporarily blinding pilots.

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According to the source, the result of one incident last month, two American military transport aircraft C-130 received an eye injury due to laser application. It's not clear how the Pentagon decided the lasers were Chinese, beyond them having a base sort of nearby.

Zhou Chenming, a Beijing-based military analyst, noted that the USA and Chinese military bases in Djibouti were so close to one another that it would be easy for disturbances to arise.

"After careful verification, we have told the USA explicitly that the so-called accusations are totally inconsistent with facts", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Friday, AFP reported.

However, Chinese military observers told the South China Morning Post that the lasers were not targeting us pilots but being used to scare off birds near the airfield.

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In 2017, China opened its first overseas base in Djibouti, a tiny but strategically important Horn of Africa country.

On the proximity of Chinese base to the American base, White said "these are sovereign questions" and "the Djibouti government is free to work with who they want to".

China rejected the allegations, saying they are "inconsistent with facts", with its foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying telling reporters "You can remind relevant people in the United States to pay attention to facts and not to make groundless accusations".

"We're well aware of China's militarisation of the South China Sea", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

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The 500-acre Camp Lemonnier base was set up after the September 11 attacks, and it coordinates USA military activities in the West African and Middle Eastern region.

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