U.S. on alert for China moves

Chinese soldiers and children holding U.S. and Chinese flags line up on the tarmac to greet President Donald Trump as he arrives at Beijing Airport, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, in Beijing, China. Trump is on a five country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

 

China’s government is known for using high-level foreign visits to conduct tests of new military equipment such as missiles and stealth aircraft, and the White House is hoping Beijing does not conduct provocative tests while President Trump is visiting the country this week.

The most notable example was the January 2010 visit to China by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, when the Chinese military sought to sabotage the trip by flight-testing the first J-20 stealth fighter. Mr. Gates wrote in his memoir that the People’s Liberation Army nearly “wrecked” the visit. Two hours before he met with then-Chinese President Hu Jintao, China released photos of the new J-20 in what Mr. Gates called “about as big a ‘f– you’ as you can get.” Continue reading

China builds mystery midget submarine

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China has apparently built a previously unseen midget submarine at its Wuchang shipyard in Wuhan.

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The imagery shows the craft berthed at the pontoon used for fitting out submarines. The midget submarine had left the pontoon by late November and by mid-January 2015, another submarine, probably a Type 041 Yuan-class boat, occupied the berth. Continue reading

PLA developing submarines powered by lithium-ion batteries

China is experimenting with a lithium-ion battery propulsion system for submarines and aims to achieve results within the next five years, according to a report from Tokyo-based international news magazine the Diplomat.

Lithium-ion batteries offer much higher energy density and longer dive times than conventional diesel-powered submarines, which is why Chinese researchers see them as the “wave of the future,” says Andrew Erickson, a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Continue reading