A Chinese spy ship has been detected in the vicinity of joint Australian and US war games, the defence department has confirmed.
A Chinese spy ship has been operating off Australia's northeast coast at the same time local and US forces are taking part in joint military exercises.
The defence department said in a statement the Chinese People's Liberation Army-Navy Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence vessel had remained outside Australian territorial waters.
"Exercise Talisman Sabre is currently taking place in the vicinity. The vessel's presence has not detracted from the exercise objectives," a statement said.