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  • Welcome back to China Uncensored.

  • I'm Chris Chappell.

  • Remember when laser weapons were the domain

  • of stormtroopers and Death Stars?

  • Well, the future of military-grade lasers has arrived

  • and it's...a little scary.

  • In a test,

  • this laser weapon developed for the US military

  • shot down five drones.

  • And check out this one:

  • a Tactical High Energy Laser code named THEL.

  • It can track, lock onto, and fire a laser

  • at an incoming missile or artillery shell

  • and shoot it down mid-flight.

  • In fact, some laser weapons are so dangerous

  • they've been banned.

  • Both the US and China signed

  • the Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons.

  • It bans the use of lasers

  • that can cause permanent blindness.

  • But... it seems that the Chinese military

  • just used a laser weapon on American pilots.

  • I mean, it's been 20 years

  • since China signed that treaty.

  • Maybe they forgot.

  • And to be fair,

  • that was a long time ago.

  • I mean, back in 1998,

  • we were watching Young Hercules,

  • while playing Pokemon and listening to Britney Spears

  • and...oh my God I'm so old.

  • What's that, Shelley?

  • Oh right, lasers.

  • There have been about ten recent incidents

  • where Chinese military personnel

  • allegedly pointed high-powered lasers at US planes

  • flying near a US military base.

  • It's been happening in the African nation of Djibouti

  • where both the US and China have military bases

  • within a few miles of each other.

  • In...Djibouti.

  • A DOD spokesperson said that in a recent incident,

  • two American cargo plane pilots

  • were injured by the Chinese lasers.

  • They are very serious incidents.

  • There have been two minor injuries.

  • This activity poses a threat to our airmen.

  • We have formally demarched the Chinese

  • and we have requested the Chinese

  • investigate these incidents.

  • The Chinese Foreign Ministry

  • surprise, surprise

  • denies everything.

  • Their spokesperson also demanded that reporters

  • remind relevant people in the US

  • to pay attention to facts.”

  • Well the fact is that last year China

  • opened its first ever foreign military base

  • about a mile away from the US base in Djibouti,

  • on the horn of Africa.

  • And, according to the American general

  • that oversees US operations in Africa,

  • there goes the neighborhood.

  • U.S. Marine Corps General Thomas Waldhauser

  • diplomatically said there's a lot oflearningandgrowing

  • going on because this is the first time ever

  • a “peer competitoropened up shop

  • so close to an American base.

  • And that this poses some

  • very significant operational security concerns.”

  • But whoever's tagging planes with lasers

  • on the Horn of Africa is also putting pilots at risk.

  • The Federal Aviation Administration last month published

  • a warning to pilots to use extreme caution in the area.

  • They said, “There have been multiple lazing events

  • involving a high-power laser in the vicinity.”

  • Lazing events”?

  • I thought lazing events looked more like this.

  • But according to the South China Morning Post,

  • Chinese military observers say the lasers

  • may have been used to scare away birds.”

  • Oh, yeah.

  • I can see how a C-130 Hercules cargo plane

  • that weighs 30 tons and has a wingspan of 120 feet

  • could be mistaken for a flock of seagulls.

  • And of course there's no way the Chinese military

  • could be getting freakishly possessive

  • about the air space

  • around their naval base in Djibouti.

  • At least until the Chinese government

  • issues a statement calling the airspace

  • around their naval base in Djibouti

  • part of Chinese territory since ancient times.

  • For now, though,

  • it seems the Pentagon is leaving open

  • the possibility that some overzealous Chinese personnel

  • might have been acting on their own

  • and that it's not actually a top-level

  • policy-driven territorial dispute.

  • But just in case,

  • learning to deflect laser blasts

  • might not be a bad idea.

  • So what do you think about allegations

  • of Chinese personnel shooting lasers at US planes?

  • Leave your comments below.

  • Once again, I'm Chris Chappell.

  • See you next time.

  • Stay where you are!

  • Because I'm going to answer another fan question.

  • This one comes from David Michael White.

  • He asks:

  • Chris, what is your favorite piece of literature from China?”

  • I actually love Chinese literature, so I'm a bit torn on what answer to give.

  • I'd say my favorite of the Four Classics is Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

  • But if you'd like something a little more modern,

  • I'd say The Three-Body Problem trilogy by Liu Cixin.

  • Some of the best science fiction I've ever read.

  • It ranks right up there with Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.

  • Thanks for the question.

  • As I mentioned on Wednesday,

  • at the end of each episode

  • I'm going to answer a question from a member

  • of our China Uncensored 50-Cent Army.

  • You can join, too!

  • Click this orange button and pledge

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  • We're independent media,

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  • keeps China Uncensored going.

Welcome back to China Uncensored.

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B1 US laser chinese china military base personnel

Did China Shoot Lasers at US Pilots in Djibouti?

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    zijun su posted on 2021/06/30
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