The Chinese military intelligence ship was sighted near the Queensland coast. It is being y assumed that it was spying on the joint military exercises.
It is important to note that the ship was one of the six ships which the Chinese navy uses to intercept communications and signals. It was inside Australia’s economic zone but did not enter the Australian territorial waters. According to United Nations law of the sea, the ship can come inside Australia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as it is considered “international waters”, said the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
The Australian Defence Force has agreed that it conducts freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight operations in the South China Sea at regular intervals. But, the Australian ships have never entered within 12 nautical miles of the territorial waters claimed by China. It is likely that such Chinese actions can act as a precedent for the Australian Navy to fly or sail into Chinese EEZ.
It is been stated that the major military powers conduct such surveillance within the EEZ of other nations regularly and China has become more active in conducting these surveillance activities.