Australia's 'laser attack' fault-finding farce copies the US: Global Times editorial
Published: Feb 22, 2022 12:56 AM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

In regard to Australia's hype of a Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy vessel pointing a laser at an Australian patrol aircraft, here comes the truth. It was the villain - Australia - sued its victims. An Australian defense plane made dangerous moves toward a Chinese naval vessel, but Australia turned around and blamed China. However, such a move is consistent with Australia's "character."

On Monday, the spokesman of China's Ministry of National Defense said that the Australian P-8 anti-submarine patrol aircraft operated near the Chinese vessel flotilla with a minimal distance of only four kilometers. The Chinese vessels were sailing normally in international waters, which conform to the relevant international laws and international practices. Against this backdrop, the fact that an Australian P-8 anti-submarine patrol aircraft came within only four kilometers from Chinese ships for surveillance was highly provocative.

Worse still, the Australian plane also dropped sonobuoys around Chinese ships. Such a move means it was preparing to detect if there were Chinese submarine activities and possibly force PLA submarines, if there were any, to surface. This went far beyond the scope of "unprofessional," and became a practice of military hostility. Such a malicious and provocative behavior could easily lead to a misunderstanding and misjudgment, threatening the vessels, the aircraft and the safety of the personnel on both sides.

In the face of such malicious provocations, China maintained safe, standard and professional actions throughout the process, and did not take the initiative to announce the ugly actions of the Australian patrol aircraft to the international community. Instead, China chose to keep a low profile and remain restraint. This is China's goodwill toward regional stability as a responsible major country. However, Australia has been slandering China without telling the full story. Australia has played the trick of a thief crying to stop a thief to the utmost.

The key information China released was missing from the statement of the Australian defense department or from the remarks of Prime Minister Scott Morrison or Defense Minister Peter Dutton. 

They just repeatedly claimed that "a Chinese navy ship fired a laser at an Australian surveillance aircraft" and that the Australian government "would always stand up to China's coercion, bullying and intimidation." These remarks show their persecutory delusions. 

Morrison, in particular, seemed extremely frantic. He spoke out on the matter for two days in a row, each time more vehemently, demanding a "full investigation" from Beijing. He also put forward an inconceivable hypothesis that if an Australian frigate points a laser at a Chinese surveillance aircraft in the Taiwan Straits, "Could you imagine their reaction to that in Beijing?" 

This provocative analogy was in fact a sensational campaign stunt designed to play the "anti-China card" with the opposition Labor Party, and to compete with his opponent Dutton over who is better at political hype as the general election is approaching, completely disregarding the truth, let alone justice.

Australia has shown such a high profile without much self-awareness in recent years, as if it is no longer a good US lackey if it does not do so. Australia established an AUKUS alliance with the US and the UK last year, preparing to build and deploy a fleet of nuclear submarines with long-range capability. It also touted that Australia must be prepared to "send off, yet again, our warriors to fight." Its warships have also frequently swaggered in the South China Sea from time to time, and they claimed to attempt to break into waters within 12 nautical miles around Chinese islands and reefs. Australia's military ambitions are expanding like never before. As a result, the farce of bullying others by flaunting his powerful connections often appears.

It is now clear that Australia's claim that its patrol plane was fired at with laser light by a Chinese naval vessel is nothing but a fault-finding farce directed and performed by Australia itself. Of course, this is not Australia's own creation. The US had been embarrassed by China several times in this regard. Australia even copied the US on how to find fault with China. Australia deserves its title as an "anti-China vanguard of the US." Meanwhile, it showed the international community who is the destabilizing factor in the region. 

As for Morrison's so-called "intimidation" from the Chinese side, what he needs to do now is not to seize the microphone of the media, but to tell his defense minister that only by following the rules can there be safety.