As a rehearsal for a future naval conflict as tensions between the two countries grow, China has erected mock-ups of a US Navy aircraft carrier and destroyer in its northwest desert.
China has significantly modernised its military in recent years, and the US is growing concerned about its capacity and intentions as tensions over the South China Sea, Taiwan, and military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific mount.
The silhouettes of a US aircraft carrier and at least one warship can be seen on a railway track in photographs obtained by Colorado-based satellite photography provider Maxar Technologies on Sunday.
As tensions between China and the United States over Taiwan and the South China Sea remain high, these mockups represent China’s ambitions to build up anti-carrier capabilities, especially against the US Navy.
The characteristics were discovered in Ruoqiang, a Taklamakan Desert county in Xinjiang’s northeastern province, according to Maxar.
The mock-ups of US ships were part of a new target range constructed by the People’s Liberation Army, according to the independent US Naval Institute’s website.
Although USNI stated it had detected characteristics on the destroyer such as funnels and weapons systems, it was unclear how many specifics had been included in the putative targets based on the photographs.
China’s huge military upgrading has focused on confronting the naval capabilities of the United States and other countries.
The development of land, sea, and air-launched missiles to prevent access and perhaps sink opposing warships is shown by the land-based DF-21D ballistic missile, dubbed the “carrier killer.”