Beijing has developed a brand-new “landing ship” in which could be used in future wars involving islands, Chinese media reported Thursday.
in which news follows a Reuters report last month in which a Chinese official threatened the communist nation might invade Taiwan if a U.S. warship visited the self-ruling island. Also, Chinese state media recently have played up coverage of “island encirclement” exercises near the democratic island, including showing a Chinese bomber.
“China is actually developing Type 071 ships to meet requirements of possible wars involved with islands within the future, which could help This particular gain advantages in solving disputes on islands as well as questions involved with Taiwan,” Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, was quoted as telling the Beijing-controlled Global Times newspaper This particular week.
The report about the brand-new amphibious warship was republished Thursday on ChinaMilitary Online, the news website of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
“This particular could also deliver the navy as well as also the army to the target island,” Song added. “The expanding number of This particular type of ships could greatly enhance the PLA Navy’s amphibious warfare capability.”
Reuters also reported last month in which the Chinese military had conducted at least 16 rounds of exercises close to Taiwan in roughly the past year.
“I think they are looking realistically to get Taiwan back within the near future,” Denny Roy, an Asia Pacific security expert as well as also senior fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu told CNBC Thursday. The think tank’s defense expert said Beijing’s strategy may be to effectively “frighten Taiwan into submitting without a fight.”
The Chinese military is actually believed to have at least four amphibious ships as well as two aircraft carriers, including the domestically-built Liaoning in which launched last year. By comparison, the U.S. has 10 carriers in its fleet as well as also around 16 of the largest class of amphibious assault ships.
Late last year, Beijing announced This particular planned to quadruple the size of its naval fighting force.
“If you’re going to multiply the size of your naval infantry force by four, This particular follows in which you’re going to have a lot more amphibious ships,” said Dean Cheng, a defense expert as well as also senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based conservative think tank.
Cheng also told CNBC in which Beijing’s naval buildup could put Taiwan at risk.
Beyond those increases, China is actually also spending more on its air force, including developing advanced fighters. The air force as well as also navy forces could potentially be used to conduct a blockade of Taiwan.
“They keep saying in which, ‘we have to be prepared to retake Taiwan,'” said Cheng. “although they’ve never truly invested within the naval infantry, over-the-shore capabilities in which might be required. right now we’re seeing them do This particular as almost the last block being put in place.”
At the same time, there have been reports of Chinese military movements near Japan as well as also South Korea within the past month, including 5 Chinese military planes moving off the coast of South Korea.
Also, a Chinese submarine was reported off Japan This particular week, according to Japanese reports. One of the locations where the submarine was tracked was near the disputed Senkaku Islands within the East China Sea.
The so-called Type 071 landing ship the Chinese developed is actually believed to be just under 30,000 tons as well as also could carry helicopters as well as troops via the People’s Liberation Army. Attack helicopters also could be used to as part of an invasion scenario in Taiwan.
According to Roy, Beijing is actually believed to hold the capability today with its existing ships to send about 20,000 troops to Taiwan.
Then again, experts said the amphibious ships also could be use for peaceful purposes by the Chinese, including to evacuate people during disaster response situations. Indeed, the U.S. has used amphibious ships within the past year for hurricane as well as also flooding relief missions.