A second Chinese craft ship signals China to look very carefully at Australia: Experts

According to experts, Beijing’s decision to spy on the US-Australia war game is a sign that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is “on the lookout” for Australia and its democratic allies.

Comments follow recent reports that two Chinese craft ships were heading to the Australian coast to monitor Talisman Saber, the largest biennial training exercise between the Australian Defense Force (ADF) and the U.S. military. I am.

“The message Beijing is sending especially to Australians is that we are looking at you and watching very carefully. For a country of Australian size, I think it’s a bit volatile.” Said Joseph Siracusa, an adjunct professor of international diplomatic history at Curtin University.

“Remember, for now, they (Australian ministers) can’t go anywhere in China or get any ministers to pick up the phone,” he told The Epoch Times. “The fact that (CCP) is sending warships to gather information and get attention. That’s a bit ironic here. China isn’t paying political attention to Australia, but it’s military. I pay a lot of attention to. “

On July 18, Beijing dispatched a second surveillance vessel, Neptune (also known as Neptune), to the Queensland coast to monitor Talisman Saber.

It was stationed in Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone after the arrival of Uranus on July 16th. You can stay there legally unless you engage in fishing activities.

Epoch Times Photo
The PLA (Navy) general intelligence ship Tianwangxing (AGI-797) will pass through the Arafura Sea on the morning of July 11, 2021. (Courtesy of the Australian Ministry of Defense)

Chinese craft ships were present in previous iterations of Talisman Saber in 2017 and 2019. However, the arrival of the second ship surprised Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton.

“I’m surprised that there are two vessels, but obviously China has decided to have a bigger presence,” he told reporters on July 19.

Both vessels are equipped with advanced electronic sensors that can intercept and record US and Australian communications for analysis.

Alexei Muraviev, head of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Security at Curtin University, said the Chinese were interested in the military hardware and tactics exhibited during the war.

“The Chinese have shown an ongoing interest in monitoring Australia’s military operations, especially joint operations and exercises with our allies,” he told The Epoch Times. β€œThe exercises reveal inside information about tactics, weapons performance, and approaches to joint planning and operations.”

Epoch Times Photo
On July 16, 2021, soldiers from the 1-1 Air Defense Artillery Battalion launched a Patriot missile during an exercise on Talisman Saber 2021 at Camp Growl in Queensland, Australia.
(Photograph of the US Army by Major Trevor Wild, 38th ADA BDE Public Relations)
Epoch Times Photo
HMAS Brisbane will sail with HMAS Parramatta during offshore replenishment off Queensland and during the Talisman Saber 2021 exercise. The Talisman Saber 2021 Exercise (TS21) is the largest bilateral training activity between Australia and the United States, beginning July 14, 2021. .. (Courtesy of the Australian Department of Defense)

“For example, we can do a comparative analysis of what is happening around Russia in the Black Sea region. For example, on the one hand there is an increase in athletic activity and on the other hand there is an increase in surveillance and intelligence gathering activity,” he says. I did.

Meanwhile, Siracusa warned that the presence of Chinese ships would increase the likelihood of miscalculations and serious incidents.

“Because of this lack of communication, small and preventable things can’t be prevented after all. I think small things can be big,” he said. “The fact that there are enemy warships in the coastal waters near Australia shows that China can not only exercise power, but could become a fleet-leading ship in the future.”

Talisman Saber starts in June and runs until mid-August. Wargames include logistics, amphibious landing, ground force operations, urban operations, and aerial and maritime operations training.

It is also held in most parts of Queensland, where military personnel from South Korea, Japan, Canada and New Zealand are testing the latest technology and military hardware.

Epoch Times Photo
The Australian Army’s M777 howitzer fired during a Talisman Saber 2021 exercise in the Shoalwater Bay training area of ​​Queensland. (Courtesy of the Australian Department of Defense)

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