Canberra [Australia], July 15 (ANI): Australian authorities said they are constantly monitoring a Chinese spy ship that is set to arrive in the region in an apparent attempt to observe a joint military exercise with the United States off the coast of Queensland.
According to the Voice of America (VOA), the auxiliary general intelligence Chinese ship is expected to monitor the Talisman Sabre 2021 exercises that officially began Wednesday.
Canberra today said it "fully expected a ship of this class to arrive in our region" during military exercises with the United States.
The exercises are designed to strengthen the alliance of the two countries and boost combat readiness. The drills include amphibious landings, ground force manoeuvres, urban operations, air combat and maritime operations.
A VOA report said that it is the largest bilateral training exercise between Australia and the US. "In addition to the United States, this year will involve participating forces from Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the UK," Australian Air Commodore Stuart Bellingham.
"Due to COVID-19, you will notice fewer international participants this year compared to the past," he added.
During the next two weeks, the Chinese electronic vessel is expected to observe the Talisman Sabre war games. Back in 2019, a similar ship was also tracked during military maneuvers in Australia. According to experts, such surveillance has become commonplace.
"This is the kind of thing we should expect to see happen and expect to see increasingly happen as the Asia-Pacific, the Indo-Pacific becomes increasingly a theatre of strategic rivalry as it is," Military analyst and former Australian Defense Department Secretary Hugh White told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
The Chinese ship is expected to remain outside Australian territorial waters to monitor the multinational war games. According to Australian officials, they do not expect its presence to impede the war drills in Queensland.
This comes as diplomatic ties between Australia and China, have deteriorated over the years over various commercial and geopolitical disputes. (ANI)