China launched a month of military exercises in the South China Sea on Monday and accused foreign countries of heightening tensions by increasing their military presence in those contested waters.
On Friday, China’s Maritime Safety Administration announced that an area of roughly 80 square kilometers in Chinese waters to the west of Guangzhou’s Leizhou Peninsula and north of Hainan Island would be closed for military exercises between March 1 and March 31.
These exercises come in the wake of numerous foreign military maneuvers in contested areas of the South China Sea, which appear to have drawn Beijing’s ire.
The Defence Force is closely tracking a high-tech Chinese spy ship as it makes its way towards Australia ahead of this month’s Talisman Sabre war games on the Queensland coast.
The electronic surveillance ship was believed to be north of Papua New Guinea on Saturday night
It is believed to have begun its voyage south to Australia late last week
The same class of vessel was spotted monitoring the 2017 Talisman Sabre war games
Multiple military sources have confirmed to the ABC they are preparing for the imminent arrival of the Auxiliary General Intelligence (AGI) vessel, which is expected to closely monitor the massive biennial joint United States-Australian exercises from just outside Australian territorial waters.
On Saturday night, the Type 815G Dongdiao-class electronic surveillance ship was believed to be north of Papua New Guinea, having begun its voyage south towards Australia late last week.