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Pentagon mum on presence of China spy ship at RIMPAC

In this July 11, 2017, photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, ships carrying Chinese military personnel depart a port in Zhanjiang, south China’s Guangdong Province.
FPI / September 6, 2022

A Chinese military spy ship was detected near Hawaii as the U.S. Navy carried out a major international exercise earlier this month, a report said, citing defense sources.

The Pentagon thus far has not commented on the presence of the ship.

The People’s Liberation Army navy auxiliary general intelligence ship, known as an AGI, was dispatched by China to collect war fighting secrets as the U.S. Navy hosted the 2022 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises, security correspondent Bill Gertz reported for The Washington Times on Aug. 17.

The Chinese spy ship is “believed to have gathered valuable warfighting information. Data gathered likely included details of tactics and procedures used in joint and international naval operations. Significantly, the vessel is believed to have scooped up large amounts of electronic signals intelligence and military communications,” Gertz wrote.

Retired Navy Capt. Jim Fanell, a former Pacific Fleet intelligence chief, said he is disappointed that Indo-Pacific Command would not confirm the presence of the Chinese AGI.

“U.S. Indo-Pacific Command routinely monitors air and maritime traffic in the Western Pacific to ensure security and stability of the region alongside our allies and partners,” a spokesperson for Indo-Pacific Command told The Washington Times.

“The PRC has a 10-year history of dispatching AGIs to collect intelligence on the U.S. Navy and other RIMPAC participants,” Fanell said. “Unfortunately, it appears the specter of secrecy that was most prominent during the Obama administration has returned.”

RIMPAC 2022 exercises involved 25,000 troops, 38 warships and more than 170 aircraft. The exercises ended on Aug. 4.

However, with rising tensions and growing fears of a conflict with China over Taiwan, government and military officials were said to be concerned by the spy ship’s presence during the war games.

Capt. Fanell added: “From a tactical perspective, these operations do in fact provide the PRC and PLA critical information about U.S. and allied combined operations, especially in the maritime environment.”

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FPI, Free Press International
chivessls by Wu Dengfeng is licensed under Xinhua

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