“The U.S. Pacific Fleet has been monitoring a Chinese navy surveillance ship operating in the vicinity of Hawaii outside U.S. territorial seas,” Capt. Darryn James, U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman told USNI News.
Capt. James said that the said PLA spy ship showed up in the vicinity of Hawaii a week ago but did not speculate about the purpose of the said deployment, adding that questions about the intent must be directed to China’s PLA.
“We expect this ship will remain outside of U.S. territorial seas and not operate in a manner that disrupts the ongoing Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise.”
The said PLA ship is Beijixing (851), a Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) ship designed for intelligence collection/missile range instrumentation. It is equipped with High Tech Radio Signals Gather-and-Process.
“Now we learn they chose to disrespect the 20 other international participants by sailing an intelligence gathering ship directly into the middle of the exercise. It is clear China is not ready to be a responsible partner and that their first trip to RIMPAC should probably be their last,” Rep Randy Forbes (R-Va.) chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces also told USNI News.
RIMPAC, largest exercises of its kind held every other year, is joined by more than 20 nations by sending aircrafts, warships, subs, and specialized troops.
This year’s RIMPAC started June 26 and will end on August 1.