China uses fake US aircraft carrier to train on missile targets

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese military uses scale models of a US aircraft carrier in a weapons test field in a remote Western desert, new satellite images show, indicating that the People’s Liberation Army is focusing on the neutralization of a key tool of American power.
Satellite images show targets in the form of an aircraft carrier and two Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers at a test facility in the Ruoqiang region of the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang, the website reported. information from the US Naval Institute. Both types of ships are deployed by the US Seventh Fleet, which patrols the Western Pacific, including the waters around Taiwan.
The images were taken in October by Maxar Technologies Inc, a U.S. company with more than 80 company-built satellites in orbit. The facility also has two rectangular targets approximately 75 meters (246 feet) long that are mounted on rails, Maxar said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg News on Monday.

(A model of a US Navy aircraft carrier and destroyer in the desert of northwest China. Photo: Maxar Technologies via AP)
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said during a regular press briefing in Beijing on Monday that he was not aware of the information about the satellite images.
The site is clear for satellites, a sign that Beijing is trying to show Washington what its missile forces can do. In August last year, the Chinese military carried out a coordinated test launch of the DF-21D carrier killer missiles in the South China Sea, an action the former head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Phil Davidson later told a Senate panel. was intended as an “unequivocal message”.
The DF-21D is at the heart of China’s strategy to deter military action off its eastern coast by threatening to destroy the main sources of US power projection in the region, namely its carrier strike groups. Then-Naval Intelligence Vice Admiral Jack Dorsett told reporters in January 2011 that the Pentagon underestimated the speed at which China had developed and was commissioning the DF-21D.
Training target
Sino-US relations have quietly improved in recent months, but the two countries are fighting over Taiwan and concern is growing in Washington over Beijing’s nuclear arsenal. In a sign of heated rhetoric about Taiwan, Chinese state media last week had to tame online speculation about a possible war.
The Pentagon has expressed concern that China is expanding its nuclear weapons capabilities faster than previously believed. Many members of the US military establishment are also concerned about China’s investments in advanced missile technology, with the top military officer in uniform recently calling the hypersonic weapons system tests reported by China “very of concern ”.

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