Images captured by a private satellite service revealed that China built scale models resembling the US Navy aircraft carrier and a destroyer, the Associated Press reported. The images were captured in a desert in the country’s northwest province, so it is unlikely that they were taken for any purpose other than target testing.
Earlier in September this year, we reported how the United States plans to counter China’s growing influence in the South China Sea by sharing nuclear submarine technology with Australia. While details of the plans have yet to be worked out, China appears to be working aggressively on its military expansion with the Pentagon suggesting China wants to overtake US nuclear strength by mid-century, Politico reported.
While China has denied allegations of force expansion, it has reportedly been the aggressor with Taiwan sending nuclear-capable bombers into 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 grave concern” and provides it with the weapons to defend itself, Politico reported.
On the other hand, China regards Taiwan as a separatist province. Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to reunite Taiwan with the People’s Republic of China. So any movement on this front is likely to elicit a response from the United States as well. The recently released satellite images of Ruoqiang, a county in the Taklamakan desert in northwest China show that the country is preparing for a confrontation with the US Navy.
The US Naval Insitute (USNI), an independent body called the Mockups, is part of the target area that the Chinese military made. The images, captured near a train tracks in the desert, suggest that the models can be transported. However, the level of detail on the models is not clear, giving the resolution of the satellite images. However, the UNSI was able to identify features such as funnels and weapon systems on the destroyer, Politico reported.
China is said to have developed the DF-21D, a land ballistic missile, considered the âaircraft carrier killerâ. Coupled with the report of more than 300 intercontinental ballistic missile silos that were captured during development by other satellite imagery, China appears to be increasing its firepower. However, during a daily briefing, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said he could not provide any information because he was not aware of the situation and the footage, Politico reported.