A Chinese military-intelligence ship was spotted last week lurking near US and Australian ships taking part in the Talisman Saber war games.

The Auxiliary General Intelligence ship from China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy was seen in international waters off the coast of northeast Australia, Australian defense officials confirmed to the Australian Broadcasting Company in a statement.

“The Chinese vessel has remained outside Australian territorial waters but inside the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Coral Sea,” the statement said.

Territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles from a country’s shoreline, while Exclusive Economic Zones, or EEZs, can extend up to 200 nautical miles.

The Type 815 Dongdiao-class AGI ship was outfitted with advanced communications gear designed for electronic eavesdropping. The ship, called the Haiwangxing, or Neptune, could have also used its radars to observe allied air and naval forces’ interactions during the drills.


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Featured image courtesy of DoD