The prime minister said the government was aware of a Chinese navy vessel that was recently in waters off the coast of Australia, adding that it was not in violation of international law.

Speaking on Adelaide radio station 5AA, Scott Morrison said the ship was in the Australian Economic Zone.

“They can be in these areas just like we can be in the South China Sea,” he said.

Home Secretary Karen Andrews has confirmed that the government is monitoring the ship as it travels through Torres Strait and along the east coast.

“In this case, this particular vessel was in our exclusive economic zone, not in territorial waters as such, but we actually respect the right of sovereign nations to behave in a legal manner,” he said. she declared.

No formal complaint or protest will be made about the vessel.

In a statement, a Defense Ministry spokesperson said the Defense knew that the People’s Liberation Army intelligence vessel Yuhengxing operated off the east coast in August this year.

Mr Morrison said the vessel’s presence showed the nature of the geopolitical tensions in the Indo-Pacific region.

“People don’t make it up,” he said.

“This means Australia needs to be on guard and Australia needs to stand up to those who want to coerce us… and impose trade sanctions on things like our wine, and our government is against it.”

This was echoed by Defense Minister Peter Dutton on Channel Nine, who pointed out that another Chinese surveillance vessel traveled near Queensland in July to monitor Australian and US military exercises.

“[The ship] will be involved in intelligence gathering, signal gathering, ”he said.

“They’ll be looking to study different attributes and have that general presence – let us know they’re there.

“I think it’s fair that people have a clear idea of ​​what’s going on.”