On Monday, the Philippine coastguard accused a Chinese coastguard vessel of shining a “military-grade laser light” at one of its boats in the South China Sea. The incident occurred when the Philippine ship supported a mission to resupply and rotate troops stationed on Second Thomas Shoal. 

According to reports, the incident occurred on Feb. 6 when a Chinese Coastguard vessel allegedly shined a laser light at a Philippine fishing boat near Scarborough Shoal. The Filipino fishermen reported feeling “intimidated” by the laser light and quickly left the area, fearing for their safety. Reports also indicate that no warning shots were fired, and no physical contact was made during the encounter.

The Chinese ship also made dangerous maneuvers by coming within about 140m of the Philippine boat and allegedly shining military-grade laser light toward the ship, temporarily blinding crew members.

“The deliberate blocking of the Philippine government ships to deliver food and supplies to our military personnel … is a blatant disregard for, and a clear violation of, Philippine sovereign rights in this part of the West Philippine Sea,” the Philippine coastguard said.