Published On: Thu, Sep 26th, 2019

China news: Beijing unveils amphibious warship amid South China Sea disputes | World | News

The ship is the first in a new model of Type 075 class of amphibious assault ships as described on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s English language website. Analysts said the launch is yet another indication of the growing power of the Chinese fleet. Carl Schuster, a former United States Navy captain and Hawaii Pacific University instructor said: “It highlights China’s growing maritime power projection and the expansion of its amphibious warfare ambitions and forces.” Amphibious assault ships, sometimes called helicopter landing docks, can be described as small aircraft carriers designed for island or coastal assaults.

China provided no details of the size and capabilities of the new ship, but generally the flat-topped vessels have the ability to carry dozens of aircraft such as helicopters in the case of the Type 075 along with hundreds of ground troops, their vehicles and equipment.

The ships have internal docks that allow those troops to load into smaller vessels to be carried ashore.

Along with the announcement, the Chinese military noted the ship still has some work to do before it is commissioned into the active fleet.

They said: “In the next phase, engineers will start outfitting and fine-tuning the vessel’s equipment and then conduct mooring tests and sea trials.”

China’s most recent military developments could have a decisive impact on their pursuit for power in the South China Sea.

The region has become a cauldron of tension with the US and China squabbling over its distribution of valuable shipping lanes, as well as waters rich in natural resources like oil.

Beijing has left many countries in the region aggrieved as a result of aggressive diplomacy and controversial military activities.

Vietnam and China remain tense since the deadly Johnson South Reef skirmish in 1988 in which 64 Vietnamese soldiers were killed by Chinese People’s Liberation Army ships.

READ MORE: Computer simulations reveals Beijing could annihilate US navy

A 2016 international tribunal that took place in the Hague ruled that China had no right to claim historic ownership of much of the South China Sea, specifically referring to Beijing’s’ ‘nine dash line’ control of the region.

However, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed he was offered controlling stakes in oil companies by China to ignore the ruling.

Xi Jinping appears to be hell-bent on establishing Chinese superiority in the region while Western powers and Asian neighbours contemplate how to thwart their progress.

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