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Staging World War III? Satellite Imagery Suggests China Constructed Simulated U.S. Warships for Target Practice

Satellite Imagery Exposes Mockups of U.S. Battleships in China
Source: MEGA

The USS Gerald R. Ford is a marked machine.

Jan. 16 2024, Published 3:01 p.m. ET

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Contrary to recent statements indicating China's desire for stable relations with the United States, emerging satellite imagery suggests a potentially different scenario, according to sources.

Recent findings by The War Zone reveal mockups of U.S. battleships in China's Taklamakan Desert, with one resembling the Gerald R. Ford supercarrier. They emphasized China's efforts to enhance its capacity to engage American naval assets and control the Western Pacific.

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Photographs depict a dark shape mirroring the USS Gerald R. Ford's dimensions, including its length of 1,085 feet. Analysis confirms the figure's intention to represent the world's largest aircraft carrier, complete with features such as the island structure, catapult tracks and a distinctive angular stern.

Further analysis reveals masts and radar reflectors, dispelling any doubts about the replica's purpose.

Planet Labs, monitoring the mockup's development, initially observed the desert-bound shape in November 2023. Earlier, smaller carrier mockups seen in July 2023 were removed upon the commencement of the full-size version's construction, according to The Sun.

This revelation follows reports of Chinese leader Xi Jinping advocating for stability in the U.S.-China relations.

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Despite a November 2023 meeting between Xi and President Joe Biden, where both leaders emphasized the need for stability, tensions arose when Biden publicly referred to Xi as a dictator. China strongly opposed this characterization, indicating a strain in diplomatic relations.

Despite this hiccup, positive outcomes from the meeting include the continuation of frozen military dialogues and joint efforts to combat fentanyl exports from China. The meeting also resulted in a notable decrease in Chinese jets intercepting U.S. counterparts in disputed areas like the South China Sea, the Financial Times reported.

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However, the Taiwan election poses a new threat, sparking reactions from both China and the U.S. CBS News reports China framing the vote as a choice between war and peace, while the U.S. warns against interference and plans to send an unofficial delegation to Taiwan post-election.

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