19 July 2014

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

Andrew S. Erickson and Emily de La Bruyere, “Crashing Its Own Party: China’s Unusual Decision to Spy on Joint Naval Exercises,” China Real Time Report (中国实时报), Wall Street Journal, 19 July 2014.

A party crasher from China’s navy is enjoying an intelligence buffet at the world’s largest maritime gathering – and the feasting will make it hard for Beijing to condemn similar foreign activities in international waters close to China.

U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Darryn James said Friday that a Chinese surveillance ship was operating near Hawaii “outside U.S. territorial seas.” That location puts the ship on the edges of the U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific, or Rimpac, maritime exercises in which China is participating for the first time. One U.S. display map of the Rimpac operating zone, described to us by a civilian observer of the exercises, shows the Type 815 Dongdiao-class surveillance vessel sitting directly south of Oahu, near the U.S. Navy’s Ronald Reagan Strike Group and other ships. …

Further information and analysis:

Sam LaGrone, “China Sends Uninvited Spy Ship to RIMPAC,” USNI News, 18 July 2014.

Andrew S. Erickson and Austin M. Strange, “China’s RIMPAC Debut: What’s in It for America?” The National Interest, 3 July 2014.