BEIJING — A Chinese military scholar has said that disputes over ownership of the South China Sea could be resolved by sinking two U.S. aircraft carriers.
News.com.au reports that in a speech delivered in Shenzhen on December 20, Chinese Rear Admiral Luo Yuan claims China's new anti-ship missiles are more than capable of hitting American carriers.
The loss of just one carrier could result in 5,000 casualties.
China's Dongfeng-21D and Dongfeng-26 missiles are referred to as 'aircraft carrier killers.'
According to the Maritime Executive, the Dongfeng-21D is a ballistic missile with a range of 800 nautical miles and a velocity of Mach 10.
Its warhead is deployed in two stages and is designed to take out an aircraft carrier.
The Dongfeng-26 is more recently developed, with a much longer range of 2,200 nautical miles and reportedly armed with a hypersonic glide vehicle.
This allows it to maneuver on a variable, low-altitude terminal trajectory, and makes it more difficult to track and hit than conventional ballistic reentry vehicles that fall on a predetermined path.
The DF-26 is intended to penetrate advanced air defense systems - made possible by its speed, below-the-radar approach track, and ability to take evasive action.
It reportedly has more range than U.S. Navy fighters, which means a a carrier strike group launching an attack would need to first enter within the missile system's sphere of influence.
The existence and capabilities of these weapons take on a more chilling undertone following Chinese President's Xi Jinping's January 1 remarks on the inevitability of Taiwan's reunification with the mainland.
The Straits Times reports that Xi promised opportunities for the island nation under the 1992 Consensus of one China, two systems, but warned that pushing for independence would incur military wrath.
In response, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan will never accept China's one-country-two-systems model, adding that most Taiwanese are opposed to it, according to Focus Taiwan.
Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council claims the same system is being implemented in Hong Kong and depriving people of freedom, something the people of Taiwan would never allow.