Chinese spy ship spotted off Australia’s west coast

New Delhi: On May 6, a spy ship of the Hi-Tech People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was seen off the Australian coast. Which is just 50 nautical miles from the Western Australian city of Exmouth, about 6500 km from its home base. Which shows the extent to which PLAN ships work for intelligence. Australian Defense […]
 


Chinese spy ship spotted off Australia’s west coast

New Delhi: On May 6, a spy ship of the Hi-Tech People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was seen off the Australian coast. Which is just 50 nautical miles from the Western Australian city of Exmouth, about 6500 km from its home base. Which shows the extent to which PLAN ships work for intelligence.

Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton has described Chinese espionage as an act of aggression. Whereas Australia’s territorial possession extends to 12 nautical miles in the territorial sea and its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extends to 200 nautical miles. Australia will hold federal elections on 21 May to elect members of its 47th parliament.

The Australian Defense Department said in a release that the defense is actively monitoring the current movements of the Chinese intelligence collection vessel off the north-west coast of Western Australia in conjunction with air and maritime capabilities. Defense will continue to monitor the operation of the ship. Interestingly, the Dongdiao class is an auxiliary intelligence planning ship of Haiwangxing which in China translates to the planet Neptune, is not unfamiliar to the Australian Navy or the Indian Navy for that matter.

The last time it was Haiwangxing during the Talisman Saber 2021 naval exercise between the US and Australia navies in July 2021, which monitored US-Australia naval activity. It is usually Haiwangxing used by China to spy on naval platforms during the Malabar exercise conducted by the Indian Navy. Where the navies of India, America, Australia and Japan were involved.

In addition to Haiwangxing, the PLAN’s spy fleet includes five more sophisticated electronic reconnaissance ships. They are Polaris (Beijixing), Uranus (Tianwangxing), Sirius (Tianlangxing), Mizar (Caiyangxing) and the fifth which is known only by its hull code of 855. Commissioned on 26 December 2015, Wangxing is capable of conducting continuous all-weather reconnaissance and air, water and underwater asset information gathering of various targets within a specified range.

Numerically, PLAN is the world’s largest navy with a combat force of about 355 ships and submarines. Including more than 145 major surface combatants. The plan aims to increase its strength to 420 ships by 2025 and 460 ships by 2030.