The discovery of a Chinese spy ship in a surprising location has the world taking notice.
A Chinese surveillance ship was spotted off the coast of Queensland, monitoring joint military exercises between Australia, New Zealand and the United States on Saturday in what the Australian Defense Force described as an unfriendly and provocative act, according to a statement from the ADF to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
According to the statement, The People’s Liberation Army Navy Type 815 D
ongdiao-class Auxiliary General Intelligence vessel remained outside Australian territorial waters but was inside the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone in the Coral Sea.
The ship was reportedly spotted by the Defense Force during this month’s Talisman Sabre war games, scheduled to end in July.
“The vessel’s presence has not detracted from the exercise objectives,” the statement said.
University of Sydney Associate Professor Justin Hastings said the move was not illegal but it was provocative and aggressive, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
“In general, China has been more aggressive in monitoring the US and its allies’ movements through its navel vessels in the past five years or so,” Hastings said, adding that the Chinese military was more or less “putting the U.S. and Australia on notice” that they were keeping an eye on what they are doing.
The Lowy institute’s Director of the International Security Program, Euan Graham, said the vessel’s presence was an alarming development.
“At the moment what we see is a double standard where China picks the areas of the Law of the Sea that it likes and refuses to implement those that it doesn’t,” Graham said, according to the ABC.
“I think it can only expect that to come back as a message in force from Australia and other countries,” he added.
China’s move to expand its military global presence, especially in the South China Sea, is not good news, and it will be interesting to see how Trump’s administration, along with the rest of the world, chooses to deal with it.
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H/T The Daily Caller
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