Ramped-up tensions in the South-Pacific have taken a new turn after Xi Jinping, China's President warned Australia for monitoring a Chinese spy ship. The vessel, Tianwangxing is in the waters of Queensland observing the Talisman Sabre war games 2021.
Since the tensions in the Indo-Pacific started many nations have questioned the belligerence of China in the region. But, Australia has taken an active role in participating in drills with the US and Quad allies, in the face of China's military might.
So much is the wariness of Chinese presence and their intentions, especially when the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is keen about military drills conducted in the Indo-Pacific.
Spy ship spotted
According to the Australian military which has been monitoring the PLA naval surveillance ship, Tianwangxing is going to international waters off Queensland on the northeast coast. The ship's purpose is to position itself in an area close enough to see military activities involving drills that the naval coalition is conducting, reported the Express UK.
Drills between the US and Australian naval forces that include interoperability in their war games have gone under way this week.
Australian Senator Eric Abetz, chairman of the Senate's Foreign Affairs, and Defense and Trade Committee cited that Beijing's disposition to foreign ships is far different than other nations in south-east Asia, cited Newscon.
He added that the military is monitoring the arrival of the Chinese intelligence ship and that it was not an accident that it came ahead of the Talisman Sabre war games.
Xi Jinping threatened Australia for monitoring the Chinese spy ship which they did not drive out even if it was too close to their home waters but acknowledged international law instead.
Compared to how China treats others ships crossing into their claimed territories in the South China Sea, their spy ship has intruded in Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone. Instead of being chased out of the area, it is allowed passage due to international maritime law, which Abetz points out.
China- Australia Conflict
The Australian senator remarked that China is hypocritical to demand to practice freedom of navigation in territorial waters, to close for comfort. Beijing on the other hand does not like other nations doing the same thing in the South China Sea, but they can.
If any nation trespasses in China's Exclusive Economic Zone, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may say it is interference in their internal affairs.
It was confirmed by a media outlet early in the week, Defense Minister Peter Dutton verified the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is checking the situation.
He added the Chinese spy ship, Tianwangxing is passing Australia's east coast through the Torres Strait. The ADF has been keeping tabs on the ship to counter-surveillance it.
The ship has advanced communications systems, that are covered by domes with parabolic antennas used to listen in. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce spoke earlier that Beijing was tuning in on the drills, noted the Weekend Australian.
He told an Australian radio station that the ship was in international waters in Queensland where they can stay and do their tasks. They are listening to the transmissions but are trying to hack to steal information as well.
China is interested how effective the platforms of Australia are and how it contrasts to their own drills.
Suspicious Australia was threathened by Xi Jinping for monitoring a Chinese spy ship in their territory, but it was conveniently ignored and went along with their naval drills.