"War is on the way," China expert Gordon G. Chang is warning after a little-reported incident in which a Chinese satellite lasered the state of Hawaii.
Chang, a distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute and author of "The Coming Collapse of China," said, "Nobody on the ground was burned by the green Chinese beams of light on January 28, but the laser shower is another warning that war is on the way."
The events were noted when, on Jan. 28, the Subaru-Asahi Star Camera caught images of a shower of green laser beams lasting just seconds.
The camera watches for images from the Subaru Telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea.
"The beams were not, as originally thought, from a NASA satellite," Chang explained."They could have come from only one source: China's Daqi-1/AEMS satellite."
And why would China be pointing lasers at a dormant Hawaii volcano?
"It's a Chinese satellite that is measuring pollutants, among other things," explained Roy Gal of the University of Hawaii Institute of Astronomy to the Hill. But Chang noted Richard Fisher of the Virginia-based International Assessment and Strategy Center offered other suggestions.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Hernandez signals to an Army MH-60 Black Hawk assigned during nighttime deck landing qualifications aboard the littoral combat ship USS Coronado in the Pacific Ocean, July 28, 2021. (U.S Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Hector Carrera)
"China's Daqi-1 satellite, a perfect example of the dual-use nature of China's space program, utilizes a green laser for environmental or greenhouse gas research, but that data, which provides information about atmospheric density and heavy weather, could also be used to target China's new hypersonic glide vehicle," he told Gatestone.
Those weapons, he explained, "require precise weather measurements to deliver warheads precisely on target."
Or it could have been tracking U.S. submarine movements, other experts said.
And Fisher also suggested green lasers can be used to measure seabeds.
"It is likely that China has been seeking to develop compact but more powerful green lasers that can conduct underwater surveillance, perhaps anti-submarine and anti-mine missions, from space," he said.
The events were little noted as January 28 was the same day that China's now-infamous spy balloon entered Alaskan airspace.
Chang warned, "Combined with the green lasers collecting atmospheric data useful for a strike by a hypersonic glide vehicle on Hawaii, American defense planners should be alarmed."
He said, "This preparation means, among other things, that it is dangerous to assume that China's January 28 laser shower was for civilian purposes only."