According to Reuters, a Chinese spy ship was detected off the West Australian coast.
Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said the Chinese vessel’s position was close to its military and intelligence installations on Australia’s west coast.
China’s warship with intelligence-gathering capacity went down the west coast of Australia, near Exmouth, and then changed its course.
The Defense Minister called it an act of aggression from Beijing.
He said, in his words, “It is obviously very strange that it has come this far south and it is hugging the coastline as it goes north, and its intention will be to collect as much electronic intelligence as it can.”
The Australian Defense Department stated that it confirmed the ship as Dongdiao Class Auxiliary Intelligence named Haiwangxing.
Australia has deployed its air and maritime capabilities to closely watch the Chinese ship’s activities and continues to monitor its operation.
The relationship between Beijing and Canberra has deteriorated since Australia called for investigation for coronavirus origin.
The relationship went down further when China announced that it signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands in April.
Earlier this year, Australia criticized Beijing over an incident when Australia patrol aircraft detected a laser emanating from a China destroyer near its waters.
China’s guided-missile destroyer was reported to pass through the Arafura Sea between New Guinea and Australia before entering the Torres Strait.
Australia’s Prime Minister called the action from China a “reckless and irresponsible act,” and it had the right to monitor the Chinese vessel in its waters.