Satellite images show that China has built full-scale mock-ups of US warships in a desert in its north-western Xinjiang region.
According to a news report, one of the images, captured by US space technology company Maxar, shows a structure shaped like a military aircraft carrier placed on rail tracks in the desert.
The structures appeared to be targets built by the military, says USNI News, a site specialising in the US Navy, according to the report.
It is a known fact that China has been developing and testing anti-ship ballistic missiles for several years.
In recent months, the US warned that China has been rapidly expanding its military, including its nuclear capabilities, amid tension that continues over the Asian country’s activities in the South China Sea.
USNI News on Sunday reported that the structures photographed in the Taklamakan Desert appeared to include flat outlines of US military vessels without weapons or other details.
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The site said the images show mock-ups of an aircraft carrier and at least two US Navy destroyers.
USNI News reported that the building of such structures “shows that China continues to focus on anti-carrier capabilities, with an emphasis on US Navy warships”.
The Maxar images come amid growing concerns over the possibility of military conflict between China and the US, who are at odds over a litany of political and economic issues.
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The Pentagon this month issued a report warning that China was expanding its nuclear force much faster than US officials predicted just a year ago. That appears designed to enable Beijing to match or surpass the US global power by mid-century, the report said.
The US defense officials said they are increasingly wary of China’s intentions, largely with regard to the status of Taiwan.
The report said: “The PLA’s evolving capabilities and concepts continue to strengthen (China’s) ability to ‘fight and win wars’ against a ‘strong enemy’ — a likely euphemism for the United States.”