Hundreds of Chinese satellites are actively passing over Australia collecting information on military training activities involving the US and other regional partners.
Currently, warships from America, Japan and India are situated off the coast of Sydney, joining Australia in a high-end warfare training called Exercise Malabar.
China has been tracking the navy exercise since it commenced on August 10, with 300 of their satellites performing thousands of flyovers of Sydney Harbour.
Executive Vice President of Electro Optic Systems, James Bennett said his organisation have detected the moves since the beginning of Exercise Malabar.
“We have detected quite a few manoeuvres during the exercises,” said Bennett.
“These are all the Chinese earth-observing satellites that have overflown the site since the beginning of the Malabar exercise.”
Three Chinese satellites were spotted spying on the Talisman Sabre wargames off Australia’s north coast in July.
James Brown, CEO of the Space Industry Association, says China is staking a claim to dominate space by trying to get information about our military equipment.
“It’s also about dominating space,” said Brown.
“Space is often viewed as the next frontier of conflict and China is staking a claim to it early.”
While Chinese satellites take to the skies, Australia currently have none up there.
Richard McGregor from the Lowy Institute spoke to The Project about the satellites.
“It’s pretty unsurprising that China is spying on us,” said McGregor.
“Countries like China, with the capability that they have, they use any means they have.”
“Satellites are obviously a much better way of picking up intelligence and a ship off the coast.”
“So it’s not surprising to me that this is happening, but it’s interesting to read the detail about it.”