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China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of South China Sea, in this undated photo taken December 2016. Reuters

In the latest attempt to exercise its perceived claims over the South China Sea, China reportedly launched a new ship for electronic reconnaissance, or intelligence-gathering, to join its already large fleet on Thursday, Reuters reported citing state-run media.

The new spy ship brought China’s grand total to six, state newspaper China Daily reported. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “has never made public so many details about its intelligence collection ships,” the newspaper added.

Called the CNS Kaiyangxing, or Mizar, the ship was received on Tuesday by the North Sea Fleet in Qingdao, a city located to the east by the Yellow Sea and north of the East China Sea that’s long been at the heart of a territorial dispute with rival Japan.

The growing naval fleet is part of a large spending spree dating back to last year, when the PLA Navy commissioned 18 total ships. The order that includes missile destroyers, corvettes and guided missile frigates, according to China Daily.

The ship’s delivery comes during a week when China has almost routinely been flashing its military’s prowess. Over the weekend China flew its H-6 strategic bomber over the Spratly Islands, fixed in the middle of the South China Sea next to Vietnam and the Philippines. It was the second such flight of the year, with the first occurring on Jan. 1.

China also sent its only aircraft carrier to the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, which caused Taiwan to scramble jets as the two nations continue to squabble. China is reportedly building a second aircraft carrier, as well.

Each action has raised concerns over how President-elect Donald Trump’s new administration intended to handle the Chinese. His nominee for Secretary of State, former Exxon Mobil chairman Rex Tillerson, perhaps gave a hint during his first confirmation hearing Wednesday.

The action was “akin to Russia’s taking Crimea” from Ukraine, said Tillerson while addressing the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on China’s building of artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

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