A Chinese spy ship has been sighted monitoring the Talisman Sabre war games between Australia and the US, the Department of Defence has confirmed to the ABC.
An Auxiliary General Intelligence vessel was seen in international waters in an unusually bold move by the Chinese navy.
The Department of Defence released a statement discussing the presence of the Chinese vessel.
“The Chinese vessel has remained outside Australian territorial waters but inside the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone in the Coral Sea,” the department said.
“The vessel’s presence has not detracted from the exercise objectives.”
The Talisman Sabre exercised are a joint effort between the Australian and US forces, and comprise of naval, air and ground force exercises.
The exercises involved more than 33,000 soldiers, airmen and marines from Australia, the US, New Zealand, Japan and Canada, and was seen as a success, with defence force officials saying interoperability has been “significantly improved”.
The vessel is one of the most advanced spy ships in the world, and similar vessels have also been seen off the coasts of Alaska, India and Guam.
A spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defence Command described this level of action from the Chinese as ‘unusual’.