This is an edited excerpt from my new book, War At The Speed Of Light.

Significant evidence indicates that China is developing laser weapons. Jane’s 360 reported, “Chinese media have reported that a prototype laser weapon is being tested by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). An article published on 5 April [2019] on the Sina news website contains several screengrabs taken from footage broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV) showing a trainable optical device mounted on a mobile chassis with a large main lens.”

China’s laser weapon appeared in a promotional video broadcast by state-run channel CCTV. The transmission shows it in a ground-based, vehicle-mounted application. According to, China intends both land and sea deployment, including aboard its destroyers, as an alternative to their short-range surface-to-air missile. This last statement implies it has a range of about three miles. Beyond talking about potential applications, China provides no evidence of the laser’s capabilities.

China is using espionage to obtain any information it can on the US Navy’s developments. The Maritime Executive, a source for breaking maritime and marine news, reported, “[The] U.S. Navy has uncovered evidence of widespread and persistent hacking by Chinese actors targeting naval technology. According to a recent internal review ordered by Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, the service’s broader R&D ecosystem is “under cyber siege,” primarily by Chinese hacking teams.”

My view is that China is doing all within its capability to develop laser weapons. Given their tenacity to hack their way into the US’ most crucial intelligence information, combined with their government’s funding of advanced weapons, it is only a matter of time before they weaponize lasers. Indeed, according to ZeeNews, “The Indian and US satellites are vulnerable to China’s ground-based lasers as according to some analysts China has acquired the full capability to destroy the enemy’s satellite sensors through its lasers. China can cause great damage to Indian and US satellites during wartime.” If this last statement is true, it means China has become a laser power.