US hype about ‘mock-ups of US warships’ should be ignored: Global Times editorial
Published: Nov 09, 2021 11:19 PM
A screenshot form the website of US Navy Institute (USNI) News.

A screenshot form the website of US Navy Institute (USNI) News.

US media on Monday cited a message released by the website of US Navy Institute (USNI) News that "The Chinese military has built targets in the shape of an American aircraft carrier and other US warships in the Taklamakan desert as part of a new target range complex." It was reported that the target is "in the shape of a Gerald R Ford-class carrier" and there are at least two in the shape that almost looks like Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in another area. And according to Fox News, "There also appears to be an extensive rail system in the location, so these structures can presumably move."

This is another piece of news on China's military released by the US military. No one across the world can immediately tell whether it is true or not. Most of China's high-end weapons development and target tests keep a low profile, and new Chinese weapons are usually displayed only at military parades. This is helpful for not playing up military antagonism and showing a kind of goodwill. But it also allows the US to say as it wants.

Imagine if China's advanced weapons development and test launches were as blatant as India's - boasting before any success, or using a compass to draw on a map to announce where the missile could reach on its rivals after the launch. Would the world feel more tensions?

Most news of China's development and testing of advanced weapons comes from the US. This way, Washington aims to play up the "China threat" theory and justify its own frantic military build-up. However, its descriptions of China's cutting-edge weapons development are a bit of a guess and likely motivated by exaggeration or belittling to meet the needs of the US. It is always questionable whether what Washington says is true and why it says so.

In the past months, the US has already hyped China's "hypersonic weapons" test and construction of new "nuclear missile silos." Now it says that China is building mock-ups in the shape of US warships. This is really annoying. If China gives tacit consent to that, it will facilitate the US propaganda of the "China threat" theory. But if China denies those rumors, it will weaken our strategic deterrence. How to deal with these entanglements from the US has become a new subject for China.

China should just ignore all kinds of hype from the US. We should neither confirm nor deny anything the US says about China's military movements. If we deny or confirm any of these things, it will increase the chance of external speculation about other confidential information. As we won't tell them the answer, their chance of guessing anything from China is zero.

What China should announce should be determined by our interests and demands. The rhythm of releasing information should be 100 percent controlled by China and not be disturbed by the hype of the US. This way, it will become meaningless for Washington to hype Beijing's military technology to trick it to leak information. US credibility in fighting a public opinion war will also diminish.

The US has made a lot of hype about China's military strength. The general message is: It is very anxious about the increasingly growing strength of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). If there is any positive effect, it is that those hypes have helped China expand its strategic deterrence. It will have a complicated impact on the US society's psychology toward China. On one hand, it will increase the hostility of ordinary Americans toward China. But on the other, it will also heighten their awe of China's power.

All major countries are developing new types of missiles. They all improve their long-range precision strike capabilities through training. The US military has often taken mock-ups of combat aircraft of the PLA air force and Chinese maritime items as imaginary targets. Even if the US media reports that mock-ups in the shape of a US aircraft carrier and other US warships appear in the desert of Xinjiang for target practice are true, it is by no means proof to accuse China of being militaristic. The question is: Are those claims real? Let the Pentagon justify itself.