A Chinese ship has been found allegedly spying on Australia's secretive naval base, which is key to establishing communication for American, British and Australian submarines. Canberra alleged that China's 420ft Dongdiao class auxiliary intelligence ship Haiwangxing was tracked near Australia's coast for several days.
China's Haiwangxing Ship Was Tracked Near Australia For A Week
The People's Liberation Army Navy vessel had been observed over several days and had come the furthest south a Chinese warship had ever traveled, claimed Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton.
The Chinese vessel is a kind of reconnaissance ship, which is fitted with advanced radio, radar, and recording equipment. The vessel traveled down the west coast to the vicinity of the Australian town of Exmouth.
Australia Called It An Aggressive Act
Dutton has described China's action as an aggressive act against Australia and accused Beijing of collecting intelligence with the advanced vessel in the area.
The minister claimed that the vessel was in close proximity to Australia's military and intelligence installations near the West Coast.
The ship was sighted Friday morning heading north about 250 nautical miles from Broome in Western Australia and had been tracked along the coastline for the past week, according to Associated Press.
Dutton believes that the Chinese ship was involved in spying against Australia as the vessel has gone far south in the region, which is extremely rare. He also informed that Australian officials were monitoring the foreign vessel with all possible means as planes and surveillance techniques.
China has responded to the allegation made by the minister. Zhao Lijiang, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed that Beijing abides by international law and advised the Australian Minister to see the situation calmly and objectively. Zhao also asked him to not make sensational remarks about the matter.
Relation between Australia and China has been tense for years and it became more complex as recently Beijing has signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands, which is claimed by Australia. It came as Australia is set to vote in the general election in the next eight days.