Monday, September 12, 2005

Modernizing the Chinese Navy

The Power and Interest Report ( ) reports here on the modernization of the Chinese Navy.

The submarine fleet will have the same duties as surface vessels, but is also expected to be assigned the hard task of facing the "traditional" Taiwanese adversary and, supposedly, coping with U.S. battle groups. In fact, it appears that Beijing discarded the possibility of deploying a limited number of aircraft carriers (which would appear excessive in relation to other regional navies) since they would have little hope of prevailing in an engagement with U.S. naval forces. This explains why China's aircraft carrier planning and construction is slowing in pace. Indeed, Beijing now prefers a well-stocked fleet of diesel submarines and nuclear powered submarines to have the difficult role of exerting some deterrence against American ships in case of a crisis.
It seems that, at least from this analysis, the Navy of China is oriented more toward sea control than amphibious missions. That has some interesting implications for the Taiwan war scenario. Their list of Asian reports is here.

UPDATE: 9/14 This article appeared in the Asia Times.

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