China's Navy has launched a new electronic reconnaissance ship.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) now operates six electronic reconnaissance vessels, said, noting that the PLA "has never made public so many details about its intelligence collection ships."
China has also said it is building a second aircraft carrier. China's only carrier is the second hand, Soviet built Liaoning, which this week unsettled neighbours with drills in the disputed South China Sea.
The new electronic reconnaissance ship, the CNS Kaiyangxing or Mizar, with hull code 856 is combat support flotilla of the North Sea Fleet at the eastern port of Qingdao.
The Kaiyangxing is capable of conducting all weather, round the clock reconnaissance on multiple and different targets. Chinese defence media as comparing it to sophisticated vessels only produced by countries with advanced militaries, such as the United States and Russia.
Regional naval officials say Chinese ships now increasingly track and shadow U.S. and Japanese warships in the South China and East China seas, even during routine deployments.