China has built mock-ups of U.S Navy warships to use as possible target practice, according to satellite images published Sunday by satellite imagery company Maxar Technologies, NBC reported.
The images show an imitation U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and at least two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in the Taklamakan Desert, part of China’s Xinjiang province, according to the New York Post. The silhouettes of the imitation ships are seen sitting on a railway track, according to NBC.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 8, 2021
The imitation ships are a component of a new target range instituted by the People’s Liberation Army, according to the U.S. Naval Institute’s website, NBC reported. The new complex, where the mockups were seen, is close to a target range formerly used by China for ballistic missile testing, according to New York Post.
“The mockups of several probable U.S. warships, along with other warships (mounted on rails and mobile), could simulate targets related to seeking/target acquisition testing,” the US Naval Institute said, summarizing the images, according to the New York Post.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that he was “not aware of the situation” during a press conference.
Tension between the U.S. and China has escalated in response to China’s increased aggression towards Taiwan, to which Biden has affirmed that the U.S. will maintain its commitment and come to the country’s aid if attacked.(RELATED: Psaki Responds To China’s New Nuclear-Capable, Advanced Missile Tech That Reportedly Rattled US Intelligence)
White House press secretary Jen Psaki rolled back Biden’s comments the following day and refused to say if the U.S. would defend Taiwan in China invaded.