WW3 FEARS: Beijing to send extra aircraft carrier to South China Sea over Trump hostility
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.
Beijing has laid claims to the South China Sea
The chance of conflict has rapidly escalated, with security experts warning Mr Trump had no chance of taking the islands.
Maritime security has been boosted and reports now suggest Beijing could be about to move a brand new aircraft carrier to the area.
Beijing already has one aircraft carrier stationed at the islands
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.
Washington has voiced its hopes to take control of the area
May other countries have staked a claim in the waters
However the report is “based on existing available information”, and the future of the Shandong has not yet been confirmed.
The vessel is still under construction and a concrete completion date has still yet to be se
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.
Mr Houston said: “I have seen the imagery (and) what you see is infrastructure going in.
“And it is not going to be too much longer before it is fully developed.
“All of this development will enable China to dominate the South China Sea and extend its permanent military presence further south in proximity to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.”
China is known to be boosting its military power
Construction of The Shandong began in 2014
Before entering the White House, Mr Trump promised to go after Beijing by imposing a 45 per cent tariff on Chinese goods.
But he also suggested he’s not afraid of a military contest over Taiwan or the South China Sea.