Australia ‘should have concerns’ about China spying on military exercises in Queensland
A Chinese spy ship is monitoring military drills off the Queensland coast.
US and Australian forces, along with military from six other partner nations, will begin carrying out naval and air exercises today.
China is understood to be here to monitor how the US and Australia use their operating systems together, and to monitor a new Japanese system designed to help in the fight over disputed islands in the South China Sea.
“Of course the Chinese navy isn’t invited, but they’ve turned up,” Director of Defence, Strategy and National Security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Michael Shoebridge, said.
“It’s hard to hide. It’s a large grey ship with all these ray domes, like big golf balls, all over it, and we know its purpose is to be an electronic vacuum cleaner to pick up all radar and communication signals omitted by our ships and our friendly partners in the exercise.”
The ship is expected to remain outside territorial waters.
Mr Shoebridge says we “should have concerns” about China’s actions.
“We need to deter the Chinese military from military adventurism,” he said.
“This is more meaningful than it was when they turned up in 2019.”
But there’s an advantage to the Chinese presence.
“We’ll certainly be running the exercise with the capabilities of that giant vacuum cleaner in mind, so there will be a lot of deception and not revealing everything,” Mr Shoebridge said.
“They’re actually helping us make the exercise more realistic.”
Press PLAY below to hear about what China’s presence means