Images taken by a private satellite service reveal that China has built mock-ups resembling an aircraft carrier and destroyer of the US Navy, Associated Press reported. The images were taken in the desert in the country’s northwestern province, so they are unlikely to have been taken for a purpose other than target testing.
Earlier in September this year, we announced how the United States plans to counter China’s growing influence in the South China Sea by sharing technology for nuclear submarines with Australia. While the details of the plans have yet to be worked out, China appears to be working aggressively on its military expansion, with the Pentagon suggesting that China wants to overtake the US nuclear force by the middle of the century.
While China has denied allegations of an expansion, it has reportedly been an aggressor with Taiwan sending nuclear weapons. bombers in Taiwanese airspace last month. While Taiwan is a self-governing island, the United States treats threats to the island’s sovereignty as a “matter of serious concern” and provides it with weapons to defend itself, Politico reports.
On the other hand, China considers Taiwan a breakaway province. Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised unites Taiwan with the People’s Republic of China, only last month. So any movement on this front is likely to provoke a response from the United States. Recently released satellite images from Ruoqiang, a county in the Taklamakan Desert in northwestern China show that the country is preparing for a confrontation with the US Navy.
The US Naval Institute (USNI), an independent body called mock-ups, is part of the target range that the Chinese military has made. Images taken near a railway line in the desert suggest that the models could be transported. However, the level of detail of the models is not clear, which gives the resolution of satellite images. However, UNSI was able to identify features such as funnels and weapon systems of the destroyer, Politico reported.
China is said to have developed the DF-21D, a ground-based ballistic missile considered a “carrier killer.” Combined with the report of over 300 silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles which were captured in the process of being developed by other satellite images, China appears to be escalating its firepower. However, during a daily briefing, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said he could not provide any information because he was not aware of the situation and the photos, Politico reported.