As tensions rise over Beijing’s aggression against the democratically-ruled island, fears have been raised that a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine traveling through Taiwan Strait could spark open conflict.  

Submarine expert H.I. In a satellite photo taken Monday, Sutton recognized the vessel to be a surfacing Chinese Type 94 ballistic missile submarine.

The warship cruised in the 110-mile-wide channel connecting Taiwan and mainland China. This is one of the busiest shipping routes in the world and a common place for international powers to display their military might in the fiercely contested South China Sea.  

President Xi Jinping says it’s only a matter time until Taiwan is ruled over by Beijing. The West supports Taiwan’s independence from the Communist regime.

While it isn’t known why the sub was seen in the strait, analysts found it surprising to be there.

In a Monday satellite image, the Type-94 Type-9 nuclear-powered missile submarine was spotted

A nuclear-powered Type 094A Jin-class ballistic missile submarine of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is seen during a military display in the South China Sea April 12, 2018

A Type 094A Jin nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) is seen at a military exercise in the South China Sea on April 12, 2018.

CNN was told by Carl Schuster (ex-US Navy Captain and director of operations for the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center) that an SSBN is almost unheard of.

“This could indicate a problem with the hull, or an engineering issue that will need to be investigated and fixed by a large shipyard.

It was described as “an intriguing mystery” by him, and he also noted that Beijing may have used it to show strength in the Strait, which is internationally designated waters.

Sutton, however, seemed to think it was quite normal and wrote: “Chinese nuclear-powered submarines return to Bohai Sea for repairs or overhaul. The transit seems to be routine. 

Sutton stated that the satellite image was captured on Monday.These wake patterns indicate a submarine equipped with a typical, rounded bow. This length is the best for the Type-094 given the context. 

Increased military activity in South China Sea could lead to more accidents that can have dire consequences.

According to the US Congressional Research Service, an increase in activity over the ocean and air regions could increase the chance of miscalculations or inadvertent actions that might cause an accident. This could lead to an incident that may escalate into a conflict.

This almost happened in 2018, when a Chinese warship was dangerously close enough to an American guided missile destroyer. The US Navy called it “aggressive maneuver.”

Both vessels were only 45 yards from each other.

Accidental collisions can lead to tensions rising further when the US Navy Sub USS Connecticut struck a seamount.

While the sub’s nuclear-powered speed attack sub was capable of returning to Guam’s US naval base, the Pentagon vaguely stated that there had been a collision. This only suggests foul play. 

Russian and Chinese warships patrolled in the Pacific Ocean on October

Russian and Chinese warships patrolled Pacific Ocean waters on October 

It comes amid warnings from the Pentagon that Beijing now has ‘numerically the largest navy in the world with an overall battle force of approximately 355 ships and submarines,’ the Defense Department said in its annual report on China.

This compares to 296 US Navy warships, 69 Royal Navy vessels and 295 Russian Navy boats. 

On Tuesday Vice Adm. Karl Thomas told reporters aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson that although the U.S and its allies combined forces have ‘an incredible amount of power,’ they should consider expanding their fleet to ensure victory in possible battle, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

He stated, “When you think about what we might do, it is a large space. Four aircraft carriers are a good size, but seven, or eight would be better.”

Following a U.S.-led 10-day exercise in the Pacific, led by Japan, Australia and Canada, Adm. Thomas commented.

Adm. Thomas answered questions about China’s growing threat and Russia’s warships that patrolled the Pacific Ocean last October. He said it was crucial to unite against “other countries that might be more authoritarian and aggressive”. 

He added that both the U.S. and Canada are iWSJ reports that t’s allies need to use joint exercises to deter aggression by some of these countries that are showing burgeoning power’ and tell these nations maybe not today,’ in order to avoid conflict. 

Beijing plans to add a third aircraft carrier in the early 2022. Type-003 is the name of the type. Satellite images released by the shipyard this morning indicate it will be able to compete with the American super carriers.

Photographs of Jiangnan Shipyard, September-October show significant improvements to the carrier’s exterior components. Work on other vessels at the yard appears to have slowed down due to Type-003 taking precedence.

Adm. Thomas made his comments after the U.S. and allies Japan, Australia, Canada and Germany completed a 10-day naval exercise led by Japan in the Pacific. the United Kingdom's carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth (R 08), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces led by (JMSDF) Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) joined with U.S. Navy carrier strike groups led by flagships USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) sails to conduct multiple carrier strike group operations in the Philippine Sea

Following a U.S.-led 10-day Pacific naval exercise, the Adm. Thomas commented. The United Kingdom’s carrier attack group, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces (JMSDF), Hyuga-class destroyer JS Ise and (JMSDF) Hyuga-class aircraft destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) joined forces with U.S. Navy carriers strike groups headed by USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). They will conduct several carrier strike group operations at the Philippine Sea.

Washington think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies says the carrier may be available as early as February. It states that the launch will take between three and six months.

The US leads the world in aircraft carriers with 11, while Britain has two of its own, HMS Queen Elizabeth. Russia is left with one.

China’s threat to the world was made more apparent last month by satellite images of mockups of an American aircraft carrier and destroyer located in the northwestern desert. This is believed to be being used for wargames as tensions rise between nuclear-armed states.

A Pentagon report recently stated that China’s nuclear forces are expanding faster than U.S. officials anticipated just one year ago.

According to the report, this seems to have been designed to help Beijing match or exceed U.S. power in the global arena by mid-century.

US defense officials said that China is becoming increasingly suspicious of their intentions, especially in regard to Taiwan’s status.

The report stated that “The PLA’s emerging capabilities and concepts continue (China’s] ability to “fight and win” wars against a “strong enemy”, a probable euphemism to the United States.”

China's second aircraft carrier, the Shandong, was officially launched in 2020. It is the country's first domestically-built carrier

China’s second air carrier, Shandong was launched officially in 2020. It’s the first carrier built in China.

A number of People's Liberation Army Naval vessels are visible at various times in the floodable basin at Jiangnan Shipyard

At different times, a number of People’s Liberation Army Naval ships can be clearly seen in the Jiangnan Shipyard floodable basin

China’s coast guard and navy are adding more vessels to their fleet at an unprecedented rate. They have concentrated them in the South China Sea. This is the strategically important waterway China holds almost in entirety.

The US Navy is still the dominant force, but its resources are split between the Indo-Pacific and the Persian Gulf regions, as well as other areas where American interests lie.

In the wake of Washington’s announcement about the Aukus Security pact between Australia and the UK, tensions rose with the United States. This is to combat China’s threats in the Indo-Pacific.

China has a numerical advantage in naval numbers, but the importance of having aircraft carriers is critical. These vessels can act as floating fortresses that are formidable strategic obstacles for enemies to overcome.