Last Friday it was reported that the spy ship had arrived in the “exclusive economic zone” in the Coral Sea after being tracked the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Now footage has emerged on social media showing a large ship bearing the Chinese flag passing by a yacht in far north Queensland.
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The video was filmed from another boat on Saturday and the ship in the footage has not been formally verified as the spy ship.
However, last week the ADF identified the Chinese ship as the Tianwangxing, which has the number 853 printed on the side, according to the ABC.
The ship shown in the recording has the same number printed on it and several large spheres can be seen on the vessel.
These spheres can also be seen in other pictures of the Tianwangxing ship, as they cover numerous antennas that allows the crew to intercept communication signals.
The Department of Defence didn’t give much away when asked by news.com.au to verify whether the ship in the video was the same one monitoring the war games.
“Defence is aware that there will likely be interest from other countries in exercise Talisman Sabre,” a Defence spokesperson said.
“These issues are taken into account during the planning and conduct of exercises.
“Any questions relating to the movement of PLA vessels should be directed to the Chinese Government.”
It is understood the vessel was sent by Beijing to monitor the month-long military exercises between Australia and the United States.
The advanced commination systems installed on the ship will likely be used to try and gather information about new weapons and technology being used in the war games.
The ADF previously confirmed it was tracking a Chinese ship and believed it would make its way down to the Queensland coast to gather intelligence during the war games.
Karl Thomas, Rear Admiral of aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, told AAP the uninvited Chinese ship was a big talking point at the Talisman Sabre this year.
“We’re very good at operating around them,” Rear Admiral Thomas said.
“But it won’t impact what we’re trying to get out of the exercise.
“They’re paying attention — watching, learning and we’re operating. We know where they are.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison touched on the subject of striking the right balance between Chinese and US forced after addressing thousands of US military personnel ahead of the military exercises.
“I’d say it’s the biggest strategic challenge and management challenge we have in our international relations today,” Mr Morrison said.
“We respect the comprehensive strategic partnership and warmly welcome it, and celebrate it with the People’s Republic of China, our single largest trading partner, but equally with the United States.”