CHINA has deployed its latest stealth submarine to around Taiwan as it continues wargames around the island, it was reported.
The Type-039C Yuan is bristling with weapons, including supersonic missiles, aimed at sinking the US Navy’s powerful aircraft carriers.
As new submarine’s deployment part of the on-going build up, Naval News reports.
The vessel only entered service in July and features a number of technological developments from previous models.
These include a new fin – the tower like structure attached to the hull – with stealth features that make the submarine harder to detect.
Its upper section has an angled ridge running along it that resembles the fuselage of a stealth fighter plane and may reduce its radar cross-section when it is on the surface.
There has also been speculation the fin may also house new weapons systems.
The Type-039C Yuan also has a new propulsion system called Air independent Power which allows its diesel engine to recharge its batteries without having to surface.
This allows a non-nuclear submarine to stay surfaced for longer and evade detection.
China has made huge improvements in its submarine fleet, in particular the Yuan series, 和在 2015 and earlier model stalked the US aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan off Japan.
At the time it was feared the Chinese vessel had managed to stay undetected by the US Navy.
It comes as five members Congress – led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey – arrived in Taiwan to meet its leaders, including President Tsai Ying-wen.
China said the latest exercises were “a stern deterrent to the United States and Taiwan continuing to play political tricks and undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”.
Its military said the exercises took place near Taiwan’s Penghu islands, which are in the Taiwan Strait and are home to a major air base
Close up video of the islands was taken by a Chinese air force aircraft.
The defence ministry in Beijing said its forces continue “to train and prepare for war, resolutely defends national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
China’s military “will resolutely crush any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatism and foreign interference”, said the ministry.
Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said 15 Chinese aircraft had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Monday, an unofficial barrier between the two.
The ministry condemned China’s new drills and said its forces would “冷静地” face them.
Chinese nationalists fled to Taiwan after the Communists won the civil war on the mainland in 1949 – and the island has remained self-governing ever since.
Beijing has always aggressively insisted that Taiwan belongs to them by right – and have pledged to reclaim the island by 2050.
Washington has always stopped short of outright supporting independence for Taiwan or pledging to support them in the event of a Chinese invasion.
Instead it has maintained a policy of so-called “strategic ambiguity” aimed at not provoking Beijing.
But recently Joe Biden broke with convention and responded “是的” when asked if the US would come to Taiwan’s aid if the island was attacked by China.
It’s been warned Beijing could launch a series of Pearl Harbor-style strikes on US forces in the Pacific should it decide to move forward with “reunification by force”.
Experts have said China would need two million soldiers to invade Taiwan and could end up failing just like Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.