China responds to report it fired laser at US Navy plane

BEIJING (AP) — China’s Defense Ministry says a report one of its navy ships fired a laser at a U.S. Navy surveillance plane circling overhead does not “accord with reality.” The report last month was the latest accusation that Chinese forces have used lasers to harass and potentially damage U.S. and other nations’ military aircraft and personnel. However, ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang was quoted as saying Friday that the ministry “refuted” the report and said a Chinese squadron was conducting routine exercises in international waters on Feb. 17 when the incident allegedly happened. Ren accused an American P-8A Poseidon of carrying out “long-period circling reconnaissance at low-altitude despite repeated warnings from the Chinese side.”