Philippines Lodges Formal Protests With China Following Laser Incident

Philippines Lodges Formal Protests With China Following Laser Incident

Philippines Lodges Formal Protest with China Following Laser Incident

The Philippines recently lodged a formal diplomatic protest with China following an incident involving a Chinese vessel shining a laser at a Philippine navy plane. The incident occurred in April, when a Chinese vessel allegedly shone a laser at a Philippine navy plane as it flew over the West Philippine Sea, an area of the South China Sea that the Philippines has long-claimed as part of its own exclusive economic zone.

Background of the Dispute

The dispute between the two countries over the South China Sea is longstanding. In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that China’s claims to much of the South China Sea were invalid, a decision that was strongly rejected by China. Since then, the Philippines has sought to protect its claims in the area and has accused China of violating its sovereignty by conducting activities such as building artificial islands and conducting oil and gas exploration.

Incident Details

According to the Philippine military, the incident took place on April 9, when a Philippine navy plane was conducting a routine reconnaissance mission in the West Philippine Sea. The plane was allegedly illuminated by a laser from a Chinese vessel, causing the pilot to experience momentary blindness. The Philippine military lodged a formal diplomatic protest with the Chinese government the following day.

China’s Response

China has since denied any involvement in the incident and has accused the Philippines of “fabricating facts”. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang stated that China “has been exercising restraint and abiding by international law in the South China Sea.” He also stated that China “opposes any country stirring up trouble and escalating disputes”.

Philippine Reactions

The incident has caused widespread outrage in the Philippines, with many calling for increased defense spending and a stronger stance against Chinese aggression. Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana has accused China of engaging in “provocative acts” and threatened to “respond accordingly” if China does not stop its activities.

International Reactions

Several countries, including the United States and Australia, have expressed their support for the Philippines and condemned China’s actions. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the US “stands with our ally, the Philippines, in the face of these provocations.”


The incident has caused further tensions between the two countries and has raised fears of a possible armed conflict in the region. It has also highlighted the need for a peaceful resolution to the dispute in the South China Sea, as any further escalation could have far-reaching consequences.


The recent incident between the Philippines and China is yet another reminder of the ongoing tensions in the region and the need for a peaceful resolution. It is also a stark warning of the potential consequences of further escalation. The international community must continue to work together to ensure that the dispute is resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law.

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