China is sending a message to other countries, observers said.
China is expected to deploy its largest and most advanced assault ship in the South China Sea, military observers said.
According to recent reports, the country has commissioned Hainan, its first type 075 amphibious assault ship, and it will soon be deployed to the disputed waters. Additionally, it may also be sent to Taiwan missions.
The Hainan Type 075 vessel is capable of carrying around 30 helicopters and hundreds of soldiers.
China has commissioned the massive ship on Friday and President Xi Jinping himself attended the ceremony at a Hainan naval base. In addition to the vessel, they also had the Dalian Type 055 destroyer and nuclear submarine Chang Zheng 18.
Former People’s Liberation Army instructor and now military commentator Song Zhongping said about the new vessel:
“The ship is deployed to the South Sea Fleet under the Southern Theatre Command. It does not mean it will only be responsible for the South China Sea. It will also be used for missions around Taiwan and other cross-theatre command tasks. But presumably it will mainly be for the South China Sea.”
Now observers are saying that the Hainan Type 075 could potentially play a big role in China’s territorial disputes against Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Research feollow Collin Koh of the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) remarked that deploying the new amphibious assault ship means China is trying to send a message to other countries.
Koh pointed out:
“As far as the region is concerned, given uncertainty over China’s strategic intentions and its proclivity to use military coercion, this vessel will more generally be seen with wariness by regional countries especially those which have territorial and sovereignty disputes with China.”
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