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US Navy claims China spies on its Hawaii war games after being disinvited

File photo of a Chinese warship

The US Navy has alleged that a Chinese warship is spying on an American military maneuver off the coast of the Hawaii Island after Pentagon disinvited China from taking part in the war games over its use of militarized features in the South China Sea.

"The US Pacific Fleet has been monitoring a Chinese navy surveillance ship operating in the vicinity of Hawaii outside US territorial seas," US Navy Captain Charles Brown announced in a Friday statement as quoted in a CNN report.

"We expect this ship will remain outside of US territorial seas and not operate in a manner that disrupts the ongoing Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise," added the statement.

The report further cited a US military official as noting that the Chinese warship arrived in pacific waters off Hawaii on July 11 but has not entered American territorial waters.

According to the US Defense Department, Beijing was disinvited from the war games back in May after what it described as China’s "continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea," including its deployment of anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missile systems and electronic jammers, the report added.

China took part in the war games when it was last conducted in 2016, but dispatched warships to surveil the military drills – code-named the Rim of the Pacific Exercise -- in 2014 and 2016, the report further said.

The maneuver, according to the report, is the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise that is conducted in Hawaii biennially.

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