The People’s Republic of China did this to our aircraft in Africa, too. And, yes, it’s the PRC. No one else, save us and possibly Russia, have this capability. Russia isn’t in the East China Sea.
Lasers have targeted pilots of American military aircraft operating over the western Pacific Ocean more than 20 times in recent months….
Officials said all of the incidents occurred in and around the East China Sea, typically where the Chinese military or other Chinese civilians operate. The laser signals directed at American aircraft appeared to be coming from fishing boats operating in the area and from shore….
Fishing boats. Sure.
This is the PLA conducting OT&E against our pilots as it tests a range of laser powers for operational utility. The laser sites and ships doing the shooting need to be destroyed in prompt self-defense response. Gussy it up with excuses and denials as the PRC would like to do, these are overt attacks.