China to position 8 landing craft near Taiwan 1
The Type-071 Changbaishan during a visit to the Netherlands (photo by Kees Torn).

The Type-071 Changbaishan during a visit to the Netherlands (photo by Kees Torn). (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Once all of its eight new landing vessels are completed, China will position half of them north of Taiwan and the other half to the south of the island, the China Times reported Wednesday (August 14).

Six of the Type 071 20,000-ton ships are already in service, while the final two were launched last June but were still being prepared, according to the report.

The ships could launch an attack with the help of helicopters they carried on board, but that was not sufficient air cover to guarantee the success of a landing operation, the newspaper quoted Chinese military analyst Zhang Zhaozhong as saying.

China was developing new helicopters and amphibious attack craft which would help redress the situation from its viewpoint, according to Zhang, who said the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard near Shanghai was unlikely to turn out more of the Type 071 landing craft as amphibious attack vessels would become the top priority.