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China to roll out warship even as it battles Covid-19

China has been focusing on expanding its navy in recent weeks to counter Taiwan, even as it has been battling the Covid-19 outbreak which engulfed much of the country beyond the epicentre of Wuhan.

Chinese state-run media reported that the country was all set to launch its second Type 075 amphibious assault ship soon with an eye on combating Taiwan.

The second Type 075 amphibious assault ship, being built in Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai, is about to be launched, as its construction, including the hull and flight deck, is already complete, according to The Global Times, an English-language newspaper.

“An amphibious assault ship is a type of warship which analysts believed will play a crucial role in reunifying the island of Taiwan by force, if it comes to that, and even more are needed,” The Global Times reported, quoting unnamed Chinese analysts.

This could be the first Chinese warship to be launched since the Covid-19 outbreak, military observers told The Global Times. The report claimed that China has mastered the technology of building amphibious assault ships, as China has garnered experience that can be applied to the building of Type 071 amphibious landing docks and aircraft carriers.

“China has an urgent need for amphibious assault ships to prepare for military struggles, including achieving China’s reunification,” said the newspaper report.

Last month, China decided to slow down the pace of key defence production programmes, including in Wuhan.

Wuhan is home to many Chinese weapons and equipment design and manufacturing institutes, such as the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group, which builds submarines, and the Naval University of Engineering, which is developing advanced naval technologies such as the electromagnetic catapult, railgun, full electric propulsion and submarine-related technologies, ET had reported last month.

China is ushering in the building of a blue-water navy. It is projected to possess five-six aircraft carriers by the 2030s.

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