South China Sea: Chinese assault ship located near Taiwan as conflict reaches BRINK

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Chinese mainland military experts are expected to say that the ship could be operating another sea trial session, the Global Times has said. Photos of the Type 075 amphibious assault ship have reportedly been circulating on China’s mainland social media.

The pictures show the vessel near a base of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Sanya, South China’s Hainan Province.

It is located just above the disputed South China Sea area.

Beijing has claimed a large part of the South China Sea region as its own which has caused tensions in the area for years.

Taiwan has also claimed parts of the disputed areas, as well as other sovereign states within the region.

The location of the assault ship is very close to Taiwan, according to Taiwan’s SET News Channel.

China’s state-run media said this is the first time the Type 075 amphibious assault ship has been spotted in Sanya.

Residents in Shanghai, where the vessel was built, said the ship set sail in late October.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times that the Type 075 needs to undergo more sea trails.

They added that the South China Sea has bigger waves and stronger winds compared to the Yellow Sea or the East China Sea.

China’s first Type 075 amphibious assault ship was launched in September 2019.

It undertook a successful sea trial in August, according to the Global Times.

Beijing’s second aircraft carrier also conducted testing in the disputed waters last year and was later commissioned in China’s PLA Navy.

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The aircraft carrier, the Shandong, left Dalian in Northeast China’s Lianing Province, and headed towards the South China Sea to conduct trials.

The aircraft carrier stopped in Sanya for a commissioning ceremony, sailing through the Taiwan Straits.

Mr Song told the Global Times that if the ship wants to move between the northern and southern parts of China, it will possibly sail through the Taiwan Straits.

He explained that this is likely because it is the shortest route.
Mr Song added that this theory also applies to the Type 075 amphibious assault ship.

Earlier this week China’s defence ministry spokesman Col. Wu Qian said the US arms deal with Taiwan could “seriously endanger” China’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

He added that the deal would “seriously undermine” peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

The US has rejected China’s claims in the South China Sea.

America has ramped up its criticism of China’s actions in the disputed waters.

The US military has sent warships through the disputed waters which Beijing has repeatedly condemned.

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