China has built a SECOND target shaped like a US aircraft carrier

China has built a SECOND target shaped like a US aircraft carrier ramping up fears it is preparing for direct conflict with America

  • China built second target shaped like a US aircraft carrier, satellite images show 
  • New target appears to be half-sized replica of a Nimitz-class carrier, analysts say 
  • It is located around 300 miles from first site, in the vast desert region of Xinjiang
  • Discovery adds to fears that Beijing is preparing for direct conflict with America 

China has built a second target shaped like a US aircraft carrier, further adding to fears that Beijing is preparing for direct military confrontation with America.

The new target is located in the vast western desert region of Xinjiang, around 300 miles from where the first target was uncovered in Ruoqiang County.

It appears to be a half-scale replica of a Nimitz-class carrier located on what analysts believe to be a military firing range, with a newly-built facility located nearby.

Satellite imagery uncovered the replica as tensions build between Washington and Beijing over the fate of Taiwan, dominance in the South China Sea, and trade.

China has built a second mock-up of a US aircraft carrier on what appears to be a military firing range in remote desert in the western province of Xinjiang

The mock-up appears to be a half-sized replica of a Nimitz-class carrier (file image) and is located in a sparse region with one facility located close by

The images were captured by Colorado-based firm Maxar Technologies and supplied to analyst H I Sutton, otherwise known as Covert Shores, who identified the shape of the carrier as a Nimitz-class.

He estimated the length of the target to be around 568ft – half the size of a real-life Nimitz – and said it appears to be fixed into the ground.

The target is surrounded by tall poles which could be topped with high-speed cameras, sensors, or radar reflectors to gather data on missile tests.

In the middle of the carrier is a pronounced ‘island’, possibly topped with more radar reflectors, which mimics the command deck of an actual carrier.

He described the structure as a ‘suspected missile target’ and revealed that construction started on June 25, with the bulk of building work carried out in October and the target now nearly-finished.

It was unveiled just days after a similar site was uncovered in rural Ruoqiang County, featuring several targets shaped like US warships.

The Ruoqiang site features a full-scale replica of a Ford-class aircraft carrier, along with a scale model of an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The new target was discovered just days after another target, this time resembling a Ford-class carrier, was discovered in Ruoqiang County

China has built a copy of a US naval aircraft carrier (pictured, the USS Gerald R. Ford), constructed in 2017 and then-America’s first new aircraft carrier design for 40 years

Satellite images captured by Colorado-based satellite imagery company Maxar Technologies dated Sunday show China has built a mock-up of a US destroyed in Ruoqiang, Xinjiang

China has copied the US’s guided-missile destroyer (pictured, the USS Arleigh Burke) amid an ongoing tensions between Beijing and Washington

It also features another model of an aircraft carrier attached to a rail, which appears to be designed for moving target practice.

Despite constructing targets of US warships, China publicly insists it is ready to work with America as presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden prepare for a virtual summit.

A statement from Xi published by the country’s US embassy on Wednesday said the country is ‘ready to work to enhance exchanges and cooperation across the board.’

Xi issued the statement as diplomatic sources said a virtual meeting between the two leaders could happen as soon as next week.

The two sides told Reuters that they had reached an agreement in principle to hold the virtual meeting between Biden and Xi before year-end.

It comes after talks in the Swiss city of Zurich last month between U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi.

Sources told Reuters last month that, given China’s domestic COVID-19 restrictions and Xi’s reluctance to travel amidst the pandemic, Washington was aiming for a video conference call in November.

White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean Pierre was asked at a briefing on Monday about the timing of the virtual meeting and reiterated there was an agreement in principle for Biden and Xi to hold it before the end of the year.

She said working-level discussions were underway to confirm details, but declined to offer specifics. The meeting would be the first direct talks between the pair since Biden became president.

Beijing has constructed a mobile target in Ruoqiang, Xinjiang, satellite images dated Sunday show

China has constructed at least one destroyer target amid ongoing tensions between Beijing and Washington over the South China Sea, Taiwan and military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific

The independent US Naval Institute said on its website that the mock-ups of US ships (pictured, a rail terminus and target storage) were part of a new target range developed by the People’s Liberation Army

Stakes for the meeting are high. Washington and Beijing have been sparring on issues from the origins of the pandemic to China’s expanding nuclear arsenal, but Biden’s team has so-far set low expectations for specific outcomes.

Experts believe the two sides may work toward an agreement to relax curbs on visas for each other’s journalists and have also said a deal to reopen consulates in Chengdu and Houston shuttered in 2020 could help improve the mood.

The Biden administration has said, however, that a deal on the consulates was not being discussed ahead of the meeting.

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said last week that the planned meeting was part of U.S. efforts to responsibly manage the competition with China and not about seeking specific deliverables.

The revelation that China is building targets of US ships comes amid a much wider build-up of the country’s military that has seen it upgrade its missiles, ships, planes, tanks and other equipment as well as increasing the size of its armed forces.

Beijing is currently in the midst of a huge expansion of its nuclear arsenal, which the US now believes could reach 1,000 warheads by the end of the decade.

Other projects have been specifically aimed at countering US forces.

That has included the development of land, sea and air-launched missiles such as the DF-21D ‘carrier killer’ ballistic missile.

China is thought to have carried out two tests of a hypersonic orbital nuke – the first on July 27 and the second on August 13 this year. Observers believe the ‘weapon’ is an updated version of a Soviet concept called a ‘Fractional Orbital Bombardment System’, or FOBS

China, the US and Russia are engaged in a global arms race that now includes the development of hypersonic missile technology. Here, the MailOnline has compared (from left) each country’s main nuclear weapon, the latest hypersonic technology they have tested, their most up-to-date aircraft carriers, main battle tanks, and cutting-edge jets 

Recent months have also seen a substantial increase in Chinese military flights just southwest of Taiwan, the self-governing island republic claimed by Beijing as its own territory and which it threatens to annex by force. 

Washington provides Taiwan with much of its weaponry and US law requires that it ensures the island can defend itself and to treat threats to it as matters of ‘grave concern.’ 

Beijing also tested a never-before-seen weapon this summer, which analysts believe could be a hypersonic nuclear missile.

The unknown craft was blasted in to space twice in July in August, circling the globe in low Earth orbit before being brought back down.

Observers believe it could be an updated and more-lethal version of an old Soviet nuclear weapon calls FOBS which is designed to evade missile defences.

China has acknowledged one of the tests, but insists the craft is deigned for civilian use and the ‘peaceful’ exploration of space.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said: ‘We’re witnessing one of the largest shifts in global geo-strategic power the world has witnessed, 

‘They [China] are clearly challenging us regionally and their aspiration is to challenge the United States globally.’ 

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