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China Deploys Spy Ship Off The Coast Of Hawaii

Business Insider July 18, 2014 reports:

The People’s Liberation Army Navy auxiliary general intelligence ship has been operating within the United States 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone around Hawaii, but not within the 12-nautical-mile territorial seas, said Capt. Darryn James, spokesman for U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor….

China’s uninvited fifth ship — a Type 815 Dongdiao-class intelligence vessel named Beijixing — is operating a safe distance away from the Hawaiian coast and the other 50 ships taking part in the exercise “in accordance with international law” ….

“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,” Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, told USNI. “It is clear China is not ready to be a responsible partner and that their first trip to RIMPAC should probably be their last.”

Crashing Its Own Party: China’s Unusual Decision to Spy On Joint Naval Exercises

851 spying

Chinese type 815 Dongdiao-class intelligence vessel spying.

WSJ: …Beijing has long argued—in opposition to international norms and the consensus of the vast majority of nations (pdf) —that it has the authority to prevent surveillance activities outside its territorial waters but within its claimed EEZ. On this basis, it has bitterly opposed lawful U.S. surveillance activities and engaged in dangerous harassment of U.S. platforms involved in them, most prominently in the Impeccable Incident of 2009.

Now, driven by its own maritime interests and trajectory, China is shifting on this issue, pursuing approaches that will complicate future opposition to similar U.S. surveillance activities.

“Chinese maritime intelligence collection operations increased in 2012,” the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Samuel Locklear told the Senate Armed Services Committee in April last year, “with historic first such missions into the Indian Ocean and within the U.S. exclusive economic zones off of Guam and Hawaii .” China’s acknowledgement at the 2013 Shangri La Dialogue of its conducting military surveillance in America’s undisputed EEZ may presage reduced opposition to similar activities in China’s own EEZ as China rises as a maritime power with access interests of its own.

For now, however, Beijing is living a contradiction while Washington adheres to long-established principles (pdf)….

October, 2013: Report: Chinese Spy Ship Operating Near Hawaii

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a type 815 Dongdiao-class intelligence vessel deployed off Hawaii — Beijixing #851