WW3 FEARS: Beijing to send extra aircraft carrier to South China Sea over Trump hostility

Aircraft carrier

Beijing already has one aircraft carrier stationed at the islands [Reuters]


BEIJING remains braced for a war with the US and its new President Donald Trump as it announced a second aircraft carrier is to be based in the South China Sea.

The chance of conflict has rapidly escalated, with security experts warning Mr Trump had no chance of taking the islands.

And China’s state media has already announced it will “step up preparedness for possible military conflict with US”.

Maritime security has been boosted and reports now suggest Beijing could be about to move a brand new aircraft carrier to the area.

Construction of The Shandong, China’s first indigenous aircraft carrier which was named after a province in China’s east coast, began in 2014.

Three years later, the carrier is said to be “taking shape” – and a report suggests the vessel could be bound for the South China Sea.

Being built at the eastern port of Dalian, the ship is currently being built at a rapid pace to ensure it is ready to handle “complicated situations” that have arisen since Donald Trump’s inauguration last month.

The vessel is still under construction and a concrete completion date has still yet to be set.

But if the reports prove true, the carrier will join China’s first aircraft carrier, The Liaoning, which was bought from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China.

The reports come after the former head of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Sir Angus Houston said the biggest Pacific land and sea grabs since the Japanese invasions of 1930s and 1940s was almost complete on the artificial islands.

Although Chinese President Xi Jinping has previously pledged not to “militarise” the disputed region, Beijing has pumped the area full of weapons.

Full article: WW3 FEARS: Beijing to send extra aircraft carrier to South China Sea over Trump hostility (Express)

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