- Dec 3, 2017
Significantly, the appraisal drilling is funded by Russia’s state-backed Zarubezhneft and the incident underscores the fact that Moscow’s energy interests in the South China Sea are increasingly being threatened by China.
In May, the Russian company acquired a 50% share in the Tuna block that is being appraised, and is operated by Premier Oil, now a Harbour Company.
The Chinese military has built targets in the shape of an American aircraft carrier and other U.S. warships in the Taklamakan desert as part of a new target range complex, according to photos provided to USNI News by satellite imagery company Maxar.
The full-scale outline of a U.S. carrier and at least two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are part of the target range that has been built in the Ruoqiang region in central China. The site is near a former target range China used to test early versions of its so-called carrier killer DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles, according to press reports in 2013.
This new range shows that China continues to focus on anti-carrier capabilities, with an emphasis on U.S. Navy warships. Unlike the Iranian Navy’s aircraft carrier-shaped target in the Persian Gulf, the new facility shows signs of a sophisticated instrumented target range.