China may begin plans on non-lethal weapons to target US warships in the South China Sea

The Chinese state media has quoted military experts from the country saying that the country needs to use non-lethal weapons to combat the US while entering the South China Sea

A state-run media in China said that the country should use non-lethal weapons against the US warships while transiting through the South China Sea. The reports came after the country's potential use of a laser on Navy P-8A maritime patrol aircraft near Guam last month.

The article published on Tuesday said that the state should use electromagnetic weapons such as low energy laser devices which could send strong messages to the US ships without visible contact. The article quoted Chinese military expert Song Zhongping to say that there is a need for energy-based weapons to deter the US in the South China Sea by temporarily paralyzing the weapon systems in the ships.

The statements were made in the Global Times where the Chinese military experts expressed their view on combating the US's entry into the South China Sea.

Chinese navy sails through Miyako Strait, conducts more drills in Western Pacific
A file photograph of China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducting a drill in an area of South China Sea (Representational Image) Reuters

The electromagnetic weapons and the conventional forces

The article published on Tuesday has gained a considerable amount of attention because of the strike force drills conducted by the US in the South China Sea on Sunday. The Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier strike group and America amphibious assault ship expeditionary strike group were sailing together in the South China Sea.

According to the article the drill was seen as the US trespassing the South China Sea. The Chinese expert went on to emphasize that the use of ramming techniques such as the one used in 2018 or other conventional weapons could lead to conflict but the use of electromagnetic weapons and other advanced weapons could hopefully not lead to such a situation.

The training exercise at sea by the fleet included flight maneuvers, air defense tests, and surface-support mission exercises. Reports by the Pacific fleet said that the exercise had USS Bunker Hill simulated visit, board, search and seizure exercise on the guided-missile cruiser. The US has conducted regular exercises in the international waters in order to protect the freedom of the seas. In the recent past, the US had conducted similar exercises near the Parcel Islands.

The article is being considered by the analysts as a probable indication of China's provocative force in the future in the South China Sea. Last year China had tested laser weapons that were a prototype of the one used in the US Navy. It holds a remarkable similarity to the US's Laser Weapon System (LaWS), an anti-surface / anti-air defensive weapon that has been in development since 2014.

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