Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has criticised Beijing for “an act of intimidation” after a Chinese warship fired a laser at a Royal Australian military aircraft.

The attack took place on Feb. 17 as an Australian P-8A Poseidon aircraft was monitoring a Chinese Navy vessel sailing through the Arafura Sea—in international waters but inside Australia’s exclusive economic zone.

The Chinese warship reportedly fired a military-grade laser at the Australian aircraft, an action that the Australian defence department said could have put the lives of ADF personnel in danger.

The incident comes following a week of domestic political dispute about national security as Beijing escalates its plans to become the dominant force in the Indo-Pacific region.

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