Copies of American ships have appeared in recent satellite images. The models are located in an area that has previously been used for Chinese rocket exercises.
The Taklamakan desert has a name that means “he who enters does not leave”. For centuries, it has scared visitors by its large and inhospitable size.
The lack of people has also made this part of China, in the far east of the Xinjiang region, a popular place for military exercises. In the 1960s, it was here that the first Chinese atomic bombs were tested.
And in 2013, this is where the Chinese authorities are said to have tested a new rocket that could destroy an entire aircraft carrier.
Now American satellites have caught something new that has happened in this remote corner of the Middle Kingdom. In the sand, sophisticated models of American warships have emerged.
The photos were published Monday by the think tank. United States Naval Institute. They will be taken this weekend and come from the American analysis company Maxar Technologies.
The models in the desert will be made for military exercises under the auspices of the Chinese Navy, according to the United States Naval Institute.
Chinese authorities have not commented on the recent photos.
“I don’t know about the case,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news conference in Beijing on Monday.
Equip faster than expected
It is unclear when the models were built or if they have been used in military exercises. But the images show that these are far more sophisticated copies than the ones the Chinese defense has used as a target in the past.
China’s growing military might is a growing concern in Washington DC and other Western capitals.
- The Chinese Navy is already the largest in the world in terms of the number of warships.
- In recent months, Chinese fighter jets have been very active in the airspace outside of Taiwan. Create fear of a possible invasion.
- Up to 230 new silos at three locations in Northeast China testify to increased opportunities to launch long-range missiles.
- China is equipping its nuclear weapons much faster than previously thought. It states that the US Department of Defense. a recent report from China.
- In October, China will have tried a so-called hypersonic missile. The rocket will be able to carry a nuclear weapon and bypass America’s missile defense systems.
Trump measures withheld
US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have a video meeting scheduled before the end of the year. It can help heat up a relationship that has gotten so much cooler in recent years.
Biden has chosen to keep several of the sanctions introduced by his predecessor Donald Trump. These sanctions have caused great irritation in Beijing.
At the same time, the Taiwan issue has become a hot topic. The Chinese authorities consider the island to be part of the People’s Republic of China, although in practice Taiwan has governed itself since 1949.
Taiwan invited to the summit
The question is how the United States will react if Xi decides to take Taiwan by force. In the past, American leaders have left this question up in the air.
But Biden declared at a televised rally in October that the United States would come to Taiwan’s rescue if China attacked.
The US State Department came out shortly after and said the US position has not changed, but Biden’s statement drew attention.
Biden was also noted to be wearing Taiwan. the guest list to the summit he will hold for the world’s democracies this December.
A possible conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan will largely take place at sea. Therefore, recent images of the Taklamakan desert attract special attention.