CHINA’s “aggressive” bomb test appears part of a 20-year strategy to defeat the US Navy by destroying ports as Beijing prepares for war, experts say.
Wargames from Beijing have escalated in recent months and the country’s military has been conducting tests using underwater explosives.
China tested underwater explosives at an unnamed port as wargames intensify
Experts think China is ‘gearing up’ for warCredit: Reuters
Attacks on ports are part of China’s strategy for 21st-century warfare, experts sayCredit: AFP
Video from the state’s mouthpiece The Global Times shows a large gush of water rising into the air during a simulated attack at an unnamed naval port.
Thousands of pieces of data were collected by sensors as computers analyzed how much of the part had been destroyed.
Captain Zhao Pengduo, Deputy Director of the Naval Port Demolition Test Program, told the outlet the weapons were designed for a surprise attack.
He said: “If we can use stealthy ways, like underwater explosions to destroy the ports, we can kill off the enemy’s war potentials.”
Michael Beckley, author of Unrivaled: Why America Will Remain the World’s Sole Superpower, told The Sun that the port test is just the “latest sign” that China is gearing up for war.
He said: “The threat is urgent. China has a window of opportunity to invade or blockade Taiwan in the next few years, before Taiwan and the United States finish upgrading their defenses.”
Beckley says US and Taiwanese troops must turn the Strait of Taiwan into a “No Man’s Land” by flooding it with missiles and mines.
Jacqueline Deal, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, doesn’t think the test should be considered “surprising”.
She told The Sun: “It’s clearly a level of aggression with what we’ve seen over the summer.
“Chinese military strategists have been talking about the importance of this type of capability for 21st-century warfare for a long time now. It’s one of the lessons strategists seemed to have learned from the Falklands conflict.”
Deal said the US isn’t likely to deploy similar tests in response because of its “destabilizing impact”.
Vice Admiral Ding Yiping, a former deputy commander of the Chinese navy, wrote in 2000 that the Falklands conflict produced a “deep influence” for the future development of military equipment in Beijing.
If Beijing was to invade Taiwan, troops are likely to be met by a resistance force such as the US and Taiwanese forces.
The US fleet would have to travel thousands of miles in the same way that British forces responded to the Argentine invasion of the Falklands, Insider reports.
Officials in Beijing concluded that the Argentines “underestimated” the British military’s ability and will to engage in such a conflict and overestimated their own capabilities.
The Argentine’s naval strategy was considerably inferior to that of London’s and forces underestimated Britain’s logistical network.
China’s navy is the largest in the world and it’s “largely composed of modern multi-role platforms featuring anti-ship, anti-air, and anti-submarine weapons and sensors”, a 2020 Pentagon report reveals.
The dossier, which was presented to Congress, revealed that President Xi aims to achieve “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation by 2049”.
Ethan Paul, of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told The Sun that Taiwan is the “key piece” in Xi’s “rejuvenation” project and believes Beijing doesn’t consider itself a “great power” unless unification isn’t achieved.
He said: “China has this concept of rejuvenation. A large part of the idea is redeeming the history of colonialism in China – not only by Western powers but also by Japan.
“If China cannot fulfill unification, then China is in fact not the great power that it seeks to be and is still under the thumb of the west.”
Dozens of warplanes have been buzzing the island’s air space in recent weeks and mass beach landing operations have been carried out in exercises that are widely seen as rehearsals for – or at least threats of – a full-scale invasion.
In August, Beijing allegedly tested a hypersonic nuclear missile that orbited the earth, catching officials in Washington “off-guard and scrambling”.
The country has already plowed $1trillion into its military this year and has developed missile and radar systems that can rapidly sink US aircraft carriers.
It has also developed the ability to shoot down American fighter jets and to threaten islands such as Okinawa and Guam.
Deployment of the DF-26 missile dubbed the “Guam killer” has rapidly expanded over the past year, according to a Pentagon intelligence report.
The number of DF-26 missile launchers expanded from 200 in 2019 to 350 earlier this year, The Washington Examiner reports.
China currently possesses around 100 intercontinental ballistic missiles that have the potential to strike the continental US, but little is known about Beijing’s hypersonic development program.
The DF-17 is equipped with a hypersonic glide vehicle and was showcased in 2019 during a National Day military parade.
While the Xingkong 2 nuclear-capable hypersonic prototype was successfully tested at a target range in northwest China in 2018.
The US’ nuclear stockpile considerably outnumbers that of China’s and there’s no indication that Beijing is about to overtake Washington in the coming years.
But, fears of a potential conflict over Taiwan are escalating among experts.
China has often perceived Taiwan as a “renegade province” while Washington has pursued a four-decade policy of “strategic ambiguity”.
Paul said: “We’re just on the first level of what’s going to be an increasingly tall house of cards. We’re going to have better weapons pointing deeper and deeper into each other’s heads.
“Inevitably, there will be a crisis – very likely over Taiwan – and this whole house of cards could come crashing down.”
And, Sam Armstrong, of the Henry Jackson Society, added: “The very real risk of conflict isn’t just a threat in or around Taiwan, but to the people living in the US, its allies, and Europe.”
Beijing has rapidly invested in its military this yearCredit: AP:Associated Press
The DF-17 is equipped with a hypersonic glide vehicle and was paraded in front of the nation during a National Day military parade in 2019Credit: Alamy Live News
Drills in Taiwan have also intensified as forces fear an invasion from BeijingCredit: AP
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