Nick Butterly The West Australian
The Federal Government was forced to scramble a surveillance aircraft to shadow three Chinese warships after Beijing conducted a surprise war game off Christmas Island last month.
The West Australian _understands the Defence Department ordered a RAAF P-3 Orion plane to monitor the vessels as they carried out a series of anti-piracy and search and rescue drills.
Chinese media reported this month that a three-ship navy squadron sailed into waters between Australia and Java on January 29 to carry out an exercise.
It is believed to have been be the first time the Chinese navy has come so far south to conduct a drill of this kind.
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