Australian boaters spot Chinese spy ship

A person out boating off the Queensland coast on Saturday may have shared the first video of the Chinese warship sent to spy on the Talisman Sabre war games.

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.

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.