Xi flexes his muscles in the South China Sea

Xi flexes his muscles in the South China Sea by unveiling three new warships amid fresh sabre rattling at Taiwan

  • Chinese President Xi has flexed his military muscles in the South China Sea 
  • Three new warships were revealed in a ceremony in Sanya on Friday 
  • It comes in a public display of strength amid fresh tensions with Taipei

Chinese President Xi Jinping has flexed his military muscles in the South China Sea by unveiling three new warships. 

It comes amid fresh tensions with Taiwan, with Taiwan’s foreign minister saying earlier this month that the island will defend itself ‘to the very last day’ if attacked by China. 

China’s newest assets include an amphibious helicopter carrier, a nuclear sub and a guided-missile cruiser. 

Xi attended the commissioning ceremony of three naval vessels, the Changzheng-18, the Dalian, and the Hainan, and boarded the vessels after the ceremony. 

The vessels were delivered to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and placed in active service on Friday at a naval port in Sanya, south China’s Hainan Province 

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, presents People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flag and the naming certificate to the captain and political commissar of the Hainan in Sanya

Chinese President Xi Jinping has flexed his military muscles in the South China Sea by unveiling three new warships in a ceremony on Friday 

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, presents People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flag and the naming certificate to the captain and political commissar of the Dalian in Sanya, south China’s Hainan Province, April 23

They were unveiled in a ceremony attended by the Chinese president, in a military port in the city of Sanya on Friday.

The helicopter carrier, Hainan, is able to transport up to 1,200 troops in addition to dozens of jets. 

The upgraded Type 094A nuclear-powered submarine also on display is thought to be able to carry ballistic missiles.

During the ceremony, President Xi presented the certificate to the captains and political commissars of the three warships, before climbing aboard and inspecting the onboard equipment and talking to sailors. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping presents People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flag and the naming certificate to the captain and political commissar of the Changzheng-18 in Sanya, south China’s Hainan Province, April 23

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, meets with representatives of vessel researchers and naval officers and soldiers in Sanya, south China’s Hainan Province, April 23

 he military ceremony was a show of strength amid tensions with Taiwan. China claims Taiwan as its own territory to be won over peacefully or by force. 

It does not recognise Taiwan’s democratically elected government, and leader Xi Jinping has said ‘unification’ between the sides cannot be put off indefinitely.

 China warned the US to ‘stop playing with fire’ as it continued to strengthen its relationship with Taiwan. 

‘There is zero room for compromise and not an inch to give,’ Chinese spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.

‘We urge the US side to grasp the situation, earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, refrain from playing with fire, immediately stop official contact with Taiwan in any form.’

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