Chinese spy boat caught tailing Australia’s biggest warship

  • A Chinese vessel has docked near to an Australian warship in Suva, Fiji 
  • The Chinese ship arrived just as the HMAS Adelaide pulled in to port 
  • The close proximity in arrival time sparked speculation of Chinese spying 
  • But the Australian Navy has said it is ‘just another ship in port’  

A Chinese ship which docked close to an Australian naval vessel in Fiji has sparked speculation it is a spy boat.

The reported Yuangwang class tracking vessel pulled in to the Pacific Island nation just as Australia’s largest warship, the HMAS Adelaide, had arrived on Saturday.  

The close proximity in arrival time between the two ships had Australian Navy officials suspecting it was spying on them, the ABC reported. 

A Chinese vessel which arrived in Fiji just as the Australian Navy’s HMAS Adelaide warship pulled in has sparked speculation it is spying 

But the Navy was quick to publicly play down the emergence of the Chinese ship in the Port of Suva.

‘That’s a space surveillance ship, it’s a scientific ship,’ Deputy Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Mark Hammond said.  

Nine News reported the Navy had still taken precautions because the vessel, which has communications equipment and tracks satellites and ballistic missiles, was so close. 

‘We take appropriate precautions. It’s just another ship in port,’ Commander of the Joint Task Group, Captain Jim Hutton, said.

A retired Australian Naval Commodore and Australian National University academic, Richard Menhinick, said there were reasons to presume the Chinese vessel had dual purposes.   

‘If you’re in the Navy you presume that anytime that a fishing vessel or even merchant fleets of nations like China are around that they may have a dual purpose,’ he told the ABC.

The HMAS Adelaide, Australia's largest warship, arrived in to Fiji on Saturday 

The HMAS Adelaide, Australia’s largest warship, arrived in to Fiji on Saturday