CHINA is plotting a ‘Pearl Harbor’ style attack using underwater bombs in a bid to cripple the US Navy, its state media reports.
The new weapons and tactics are designed to take the fight to powerful American forces stationed in the Pacific in event of war and gain an element of surprise in the opening salvoes.
It comes as President Joe Biden said the US would come to the aid of Taiwan in the event of conflict with Beijing – a departure from the long held American position of ambiguity on the matter.
Tensions have been rising over Taiwan with China sending a record number of warplanes to buzz the island in thinly disguised invasion rehearsals.
According to Global Times, seen as a mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, the country’s military has been conducting tests on new underwater explosives.
Video shown by state TV shows a large plume of water rising into the air in during a simulated attack on a harbour.
Captain Zhao Pengduo, Deputy Director of the Naval Port Demolition Test Program, told the broadcaster the weapons were designed for a surprise attack.
"If we can use stealthy ways, like underwater explosions to destroy the ports, we can kill off the enemy's war potentials," Zhao said.
The paper quotes an unnamed military expert a saying the explosives are designed to take out supplies for US forces, which are being dispersed in smaller harbours around the Pacific.
The tests were conducted by China's Naval Research Academy and simulated an attack using high explosives on an undisclosed port.
To collect data from the exercise, the institute installed an array of sensors at key structural points of the target.
The tactic is in response to Chinese hypersonic missiles, which it’s feared could wipe out America’s war fighting capability in a single strike, if all its resources are concentrated in one place, such as Guam.
China has also been testing underwater drones that use artificial intelligence to home in on targets free from human control.
Thomas Shugart, a former US Navy submarine commander, has in recent years warned that China is believed to be preparing for a pre-emptive strike on American military bases.
Armed and dangerous: China’s defence spending
China has spent an extra £151billion in military spending this year – a 6.8 per cent increase – as it seeks to extend its claim over territory in the South China Sea.
Its defence spending comes amid fears of an arms race among Asian powers as the world heads towards a new Cold War.
Among its hypersonic missiles is the DF-26, which state media boasted can travel 18 times faster than the speed of sound.
It can travel far enough to blitz the US territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.
The rocket can carry conventional or nuclear warheads, and one variant is said to be able to take out carrier groups in the open ocean.
China also announced it's developing a hypersonic weapon designed to generate an intense electromagnetic pulse that would wipe out communication and power lines.
The missile, which has a range of 2,000miles and can travel at six times the speed of sound, is designed to create a chemical explosion over a city and cripple it within seconds.
Such a move would be a re-run of the Japanese surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941.
Fears of Chinese hypersonic missiles have been heightened by recent reported tests, which took place over summer.
The country launched two nuclear capable missiles which circled the Earth and "defied the laws of physics".
The test first on July 27 used a "fractional orbital bombardment” system which propelled the “hypersonic glide vehicle” around the planet.
According to the Financial Times, who spoke with two US intelligence sources, Beijing launched a second missile on August 13.
Three sources familiar with the first test said the launch "stunned" Pentagon officials because China demonstrated a brand new weapons capability.
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