Australia says Chinese spy ship has been approaching west coast

canberra, AustraliaAustraliaThe defense minister said on Friday that a Chinese warship with espionage capabilities had been besieging the country’s western coastline in what amounted to an “act of aggression.”

minister Peter Dutton It said the boat was spotted on Friday morning about 250 nautical miles north of Broome, Western Australia, and has been tracking along the coastline for the past week.

“Certainly, its purpose is to gather intelligence along the coastline,” Dutton said. “It has been close to military and intelligence facilities on the west coast of the United States Australia. “

he Calling the Chinese warship to venture so far south as unprecedented, the authorities are closely monitoring the ship with aircraft and surveillance technology. he said he Want to be honest with Australians about this situation.

“I think it’s an aggressive act, I think especially since it’s gone so far south,” Dutton said.

When asked about the sighting of the ship, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said he did not know the specifics, but “China always abides by international law and international practice.”

“Relevant Australian politicians should look at the situation objectively and calmly and refrain from making sensational remarks,” Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing.

Sino-US relations are tense Australia This has intensified recently after China signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands.

Australians will go to the polls in eight days to vote in the general election. Dutton say time his The announcement has nothing to do with the campaign.

The Australian Defence Force identified the ship as a Dongdiao-class auxiliary intelligence ship named “Neptune”.

Australia Respect the right of all nations to exercise freedom of navigation and overflight in international waters and airspace, just as we expect other nations to respect our right to do so,” the Defense Forces said in a statement. “The Department of Defense will continue to be on our maritime approach. Monitor the operation of the ship. “

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