Chinese warship an ‘increase in threat’

SPHERE OF INFLUENCE:The new destroyers are likely aimed at achieving Beijing’s long-term goal of projecting naval power at the Strait of Malacca, a DPP lawmaker said

Taipei Times
Date: Jul 03, 2017
By: Aaron Tu and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writer

The launch of China’s first Type 055 guided missile destroyer on Wednesday marks a significant

A Type 055 destroyer is launched at a ceremony at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai on Wednesday. Photo: AP

increase in the threat to Taiwan posed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), observers in Taiwan said.

At 10,000 tonnes, the destroyers have a large displacement and are believed to possess advanced air defenses, as well anti-submarine and cruise-missile capabilities, they said.

Although it is unlikely that the warships were developed to fight the Taiwanese military, they expose the nation’s east coast — which is studded with military bases — to missile strikes, they added.

The destroyers are to be the mainstay of the PLAN’s carrier escort fleets. The Soviet-built Liaoning is China’s sole operational carrier, as the PLAN has yet to declare its sister ship, which was launched in April, operational.    [FULL  STORY]

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