Satellite images show China has built mock-ups of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and destroyer in its northwestern desert, possibly for practice for a future naval clash as tensions rise between the nations. China has massively upgraded its military in recent years, and its capability and intentions are increasingly concerning to the United States as tensions rise over the South China Sea, Taiwan and military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific.
The images captured by Colorado-based satellite imagery company Maxar Technologies dated Sunday show the outlines of a U.S. aircraft carrier and at least one destroyer sitting on a railway track. Maxar identified the location as Ruoqiang, a Taklamakan Desert county in the northwestern Xinjiang region. The independent U.S. Naval Institute said on its website that the mock-ups of U.S. ships were part of a new target range developed by the People’s Liberation Army.