Copies of American ships appeared on recent satellite images. The models are located in an area previously used for Chinese missile exercises.
The Taklamakan Desert has a name that means “he who enters does not go out”. For centuries, it has been intimidating visitors because it is very large and inhospitable.
The lack of people also made this part of China, located in the easternmost region of Xinjiang, a popular place for military exercises. In the 1960s, the first Chinese atomic bomb was tested here.
And in 2013, the Chinese authorities were said to have tested a new missile that could destroy an entire aircraft carrier.
Now, US satellites have picked up something new that happened in this remote corner of the Middle Kingdom. In the sand, advanced models of American warships appeared.
The photos were published on Monday by the Thought Center US Naval Institute. It will be taken this weekend and will be taken from the American analysis company Maxar Technologies.
The models will be made in the desert for military exercises under the supervision of the Chinese Navy, according to the US Naval Institute.
The Chinese authorities have not commented on the latest photos.
“I don’t know about the case,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press conference in Beijing on Monday.
Prepares faster than expected
It is unclear when the models were built, or if they were used in military exercises. But the images show that these are much more advanced versions of what the Chinese defense has used as a target in the past.
China’s growing military power is a growing concern in Washington, D.C., and a number of other Western capitals.
- The Chinese Navy is already the largest in the world in terms of the number of warships.
- In recent months, Chinese combat aircraft have been very active in the airspace outside of Taiwan. It creates fear of a possible invasion.
- As many as 230 new silos in three locations in northeastern China testify to expanding opportunities to launch long-range missiles.
- China is preparing its nuclear weapons much faster than previously thought. The US Department of Defense claims China’s latest report.
- In October, China will have tested the so-called hypersonic missile. The missile would be capable of carrying a nuclear weapon and bypassing US missile defense systems.
Save Trump’s measures
US President Joe Biden and China’s leader, Xi Jinping, are scheduled to hold a video meeting before the end of the year. It can help warm a relationship that has gotten much colder in recent years.
Biden chose to maintain many of the punitive measures that his predecessor, Donald Trump, had introduced. These sanctions caused great resentment in Beijing.
At the same time, the Taiwan issue has become a hot topic. Chinese authorities consider the island to be part of the People’s Republic of China, although the Taiwanese have ruled themselves in practice since 1949.
Taiwan invited to the summit
The question is how the United States would react if Xi decided to take Taiwan by force. In the past, US leaders have left this question in the air.
But Biden told a televised rally in October that the United States would come to the rescue of Taiwan if it attacked China.
The US State Department came out shortly thereafter and said the US position had not changed, but Biden’s statement attracted attention nonetheless.
It was also noted that Biden was wearing Taiwanese clothes invitation list to his summit of global democracies in December.
A potential conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan will largely take place at sea. Therefore, recent photos from the Taklamakan Desert are attracting more attention.
The press asked Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Monday about the photos. He said the United States is concerned about China’s increasing tendency to impose its will on other countries.
– He said we are focused on making sure we have the right resources and strategy so that we can deal with China as our number one challenge.
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