字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント Welcome back to China Uncensored. I'm Chris Chappell. Remember when laser weapons were the domain of stormtroopers and Death Stars? Well, the future of military-grade lasers has arrived and it's...a little scary. In a test, this laser weapon developed for the US military shot down five drones. And check out this one: a Tactical High Energy Laser code named THEL. It can track, lock onto, and fire a laser at an incoming missile or artillery shell and shoot it down mid-flight. In fact, some laser weapons are so dangerous they've been banned. Both the US and China signed the Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons. It bans the use of lasers that can cause permanent blindness. But... it seems that the Chinese military just used a laser weapon on American pilots. I mean, it's been 20 years since China signed that treaty. Maybe they forgot. And to be fair, that was a long time ago. I mean, back in 1998, we were watching Young Hercules, while playing Pokemon and listening to Britney Spears and...oh my God I'm so old. What's that, Shelley? Oh right, lasers. There have been about ten recent incidents where Chinese military personnel allegedly pointed high-powered lasers at US planes flying near a US military base. It's been happening in the African nation of Djibouti— where both the US and China have military bases within a few miles of each other. In...Djibouti. A DOD spokesperson said that in a recent incident, two American cargo plane pilots were injured by the Chinese lasers. They are very serious incidents. There have been two minor injuries. This activity poses a threat to our airmen. We have formally demarched the Chinese and we have requested the Chinese investigate these incidents. The Chinese Foreign Ministry— surprise, surprise— denies everything. Their spokesperson also demanded that reporters “remind relevant people in the US to pay attention to facts.” Well the fact is that last year China opened its first ever foreign military base about a mile away from the US base in Djibouti, on the horn of Africa. And, according to the American general that oversees US operations in Africa, there goes the neighborhood. U.S. Marine Corps General Thomas Waldhauser diplomatically said there's a lot of “learning” and “growing” going on because this is the first time ever a “peer competitor” opened up shop so close to an American base. And that this poses some “very significant operational security concerns.” But whoever's tagging planes with lasers on the Horn of Africa is also putting pilots at risk. The Federal Aviation Administration last month published a warning to pilots to use extreme caution in the area. They said, “There have been multiple lazing events involving a high-power laser in the vicinity.” “Lazing events”? I thought lazing events looked more like this. But according to the South China Morning Post, “Chinese military observers say the lasers may have been used to scare away birds.” Oh, yeah. I can see how a C-130 Hercules cargo plane that weighs 30 tons and has a wingspan of 120 feet could be mistaken for a flock of seagulls. And of course there's no way the Chinese military could be getting freakishly possessive about the air space around their naval base in Djibouti. At least until the Chinese government issues a statement calling the airspace around their naval base in Djibouti part of Chinese territory since ancient times. For now, though, it seems the Pentagon is leaving open the possibility that some overzealous Chinese personnel might have been acting on their own— and that it's not actually a top-level policy-driven territorial dispute. But just in case, learning to deflect laser blasts might not be a bad idea. So what do you think about allegations of Chinese personnel shooting lasers at US planes? Leave your comments below. Once again, I'm Chris Chappell. See you next time. Stay where you are! Because I'm going to answer another fan question. This one comes from David Michael White. He asks: “Chris, what is your favorite piece of literature from China?” I actually love Chinese literature, so I'm a bit torn on what answer to give. I'd say my favorite of the Four Classics is Romance of the Three Kingdoms. But if you'd like something a little more modern, I'd say The Three-Body Problem trilogy by Liu Cixin. Some of the best science fiction I've ever read. It ranks right up there with Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. Thanks for the question. As I mentioned on Wednesday, at the end of each episode I'm going to answer a question from a member of our China Uncensored 50-Cent Army. You can join, too! Click this orange button and pledge a dollar or more per episode. We're independent media, so your financial support is what keeps China Uncensored going.