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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has sought to set the record straight after Chinese officials claimed Australian forces instigated a maritime incident which saw Chinese People’s Liberation Army Naval (PLAN) forces point a military-grade laser at an ADF surveillance plane. The incident occurred on Feb. 17, when two PLAN vessels, a Luyang-class guided-missile destroyer and a Yuzhao-class amphibious transport dock vessel, were legally traversing the seas north of Australia, while within its exclusive economic zone. The ADF dispatched a P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane to monitor the two ships, also within the boundaries of international law. However, while the Chinese vessels were in the Arafura Sea, the Luyang-class ship aimed a military-grade laser at the plane—a move Prime Minister Scott Morrison called an “act of intimidation.” Laser pointing is often referred to as “painting a target” and normally precedes the firing of weapons by a split second. Such a move is …