Aug. 26 (UPI) -- China fired two missiles, one of which is designed to hit aircraft carriers, as its new amphibious assault ship concluded its first offshore trial.
A source with knowledge of the Chinese military activity said one of the two missiles launched early Wednesday was an "aircraft carrier killer," the South China Morning Post reported.
The DF-26B has a range of more than 2,400 miles and can be used against ground or naval targets, according to the Post. It was launched inland, in Qinghai Province.
The second missile, identified as the DF-21D, was fired from coastal Zheijiang Province. Both missiles targeted a maritime zone between Hainan Province and the Paracel Islands.
"This is China's response to the potential risks brought by the increasingly frequent incoming U.S. warplanes and military vessels in the South China Sea," the Hong Kong-based newspaper's source said.
Military analyst Song Zhongping said the Chinese missiles are sending a signal to Washington.
U.S.-China tensions continue to simmer in the high seas following the visit of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to Taiwan.
The missile launches came a day after Beijing claimed a U.S. U-2 spy plane entered a no-fly zone during a Chinese naval drill in the Bohai Sea.
China's naval activities have increased in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Military analyst said China's first Type 075 amphibious warship completed its first trial run on Sunday, according to the Post.
The helicopter carrier, with an estimated displacement of about 40,000 tons, is believed to be the world's third-biggest amphibious warship after the United States' Wasp-class and America-class carriers.
China could be preparing its docks for new aircraft carriers, which could be permanently based in the South China Sea, according to intelligence data, Forbes reported Wednesday.
A base is being built on Hainan, where a pier exists for carriers, according to the report.