That’s not great.
China’s military has built mockups of US Navy aircraft carriers and other warships, Reuters reports, seemingly in order to use them for target practice.
It’s a worrying discovery — tensions are already high between the two world powers, a result of economic skirmishes and even military kerfuffles, all with the backdrop of two powerful nations in a small globe.
Now, according to Reuters, images taken by satellite imagery company Maxar Technologies show at least one full-scale outline of a US aircraft carrier and two missile destroyers near a suspected target rage complex in the Taklamakan Desert.
A separate rail system, just shy of 20 feet wide, also appears to be used as a way to simulate moving vessels.
The site has been used for ballistic missile testing in the past. According to the US Naval Institute, the mockups were part of a target range set up by the People’s Liberation Army, CBS reports.
Military Build Out
The news also comes after satellite images suggested China was constructing over 100 identical missile silos in the desert near the city of Yumen in northwest China, an ominous sign that China may indeed be expanding its nuclear arsenal.
Recent reports also suggest China is working on a hypersonic missile. US government officials were taken aback by the fact that the missile allegedly circled the globe in low-Earth orbit before heading towards its intended target.
It’s impossible to definitively say what the supposed targets were built for, but it’s not a stretch to conclude they’re meant for military training purposes.
Given the already heightened tension between the US and China, it’s a precarious moment — and one that hopefully won’t end up leading to a second Cold War, as one military official suggested to the CBS.
READ MORE: China builds mockups of U.S. Navy ships in area used for missile target practice [Reuters]
More on China’s military: Mystery Object Detected Near Chinese Satellite
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