Not only naval vessels, but China is also hedging its bets on non-military vessels, for its future plans possibly in regards to the invasion of Taiwan.
Large ferries procured from China’s civilian fleet were employed in naval exercises held last summer and in July, suggesting that Beijing could use non-military vessels to hurdle its current amphibious transport constrictions. The ability tested at hand is China’s amphibious lift capability, that is the potential to move personnel and equipment across the Taiwan Strait and unload off the main island’s rugged coast.
This attempt by China may be the first of its kind. In allusion to this, Conor Kennedy, an instructor at the China Maritime Studies Institute of the U.S. Naval War College, highlighted the attempt of converting Bang Chui Dao (a Chinese ferry) into an amphibious vessel for military purposes, in last month’s Jamestown Foundation report.
Ferries normally can only load and unload vehicles at ports, but the Bang Chui Dao had been modified with a ramp that allows vehicles to take on and off at sea. Chinese state television highlighted this ability in multiple news reports on an amphibious exercise held in Guangdong province, southern China.
China’s existing limitations of its naval power can now be covered in this novel strategy. China is bracing itself in light of the U.S. and, more recently, Japan signaling increasing support for Taiwan’s continued sovereignty under the growing threat from China. In case Taiwan reaches out for formal independence, China is more than ready to rein it back.