(OPINION) China used green lasers fired from satellites to gather intelligence for a surprise hypersonic missile attack on Hawaii, it has been warned. According to a report from TheSun, The satellite was recorded flashing lasers for a fraction of a second by a live stream camera attached to a telescope on top of a mountain on one of the islands.
Initially, the lights were thought to come from a NASA satellite before it was finally established it was a Chinese pollution monitoring satellite the Daqi-1.
But questions immediately began to be raised about why the Chinese would feel it necessary to monitor pollution in Hawaii, given the large US military presence there.
And it comes just weeks after China flew a giant balloon over the US – which was widely understood to be a spy tool even as Beijing claimed it was a civilian weather airship.
Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii remains vital for the United States military and the presence of the satellite comes amid increased tensions between the US and China.
It’s currently home to Joint Base Pearl Harbor – Hickham, a joint US Navy and Air Force facility that’s headquarters to both the United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Air Forces.
Japan’s attack on the US Navy on December 7, 1941 marked America’s entry into the Second World War. Experts are warning the Chinese activity could pave the way for a repeat surprise attack on the US.
Rick Fisher, an expert on China’s military at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the satellite is “a classic case of a Chinese dual use” of civilian technology that also serves military missions.
“The Daqi-1’s lasers specifically monitor the density of the atmosphere and can detect different wind directions,” he told The Sun Online.
“This is precisely the data required for China to accurately target small multiple reentry vehicle nuclear warheads or more recent Hypersonic Glide Vehicle warheads.
“HGV warheads seek to exploit low trajectories that are also low altitude and thus are very vulnerable to adverse weather conditions, necessitating the weather data precision that would be available from laser measurements.” He agrees Hawaii is at risk of another surprise attack, this time by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
“Indeed there is an increasing Chinese threat to Hawaii but in a general war over Taiwan the PLA will also likely target US facilities in Japan, South Korea, Alaska and California,” he said.
“Chinese weather satellites that use green lasers can assist the precise targeting of Hypersonic Glide Vehicle warheads that will be carried by air-launched ballistic missiles launched by Xian H-6N bombers, that can be refueled in order to reach Hawaii.”
China has built up a huge arsenal of hypersonic missiles aimed at neutralizing the power of the US Navy – dubbed ‘carrier killers’ – and attacking American facilities in the Pacific.
A live stream camera on top of a National Astronomical Observatory of Japan camera atop the Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea recorded the footage of the laser in late January. Footage shows green beams dancing and sweeping across the night sky.
“It’s a Chinese satellite that is measuring pollutants, among other things,” said Roy Gal, from the University of Hawaii Institute of Astronomy. Immediately, questions began to be asked, including from former chief of staff of Marine Forces Pacific Ray L’Heureux.
“I’m not sure, and this is my opinion, why the Chinese, who are probably some of the most prolific polluters on the planet, would be collecting data on pollutants on this side of the Pacific,” he said. Tensions have flared between Washington and Beijing over the issue of Taiwan, which China believes is a breakaway province and not a sovereign nation.