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The Naval Power of the PRC 2024-02-18 16:10:58

On February 13th the Wall Street Journal ran a story about the Jiangnan shipyard. Correctly, in my view, it highlighted the PRC's world-leading shipbuilding capacity and capability.


Smartly the U.S. Navy didn't dispute the WSJ report because (1) it's true and (2) it's an undeniably good reason to ask for a bigger naval budget. Nothing like a well-publicized military threat could turn Congress hawkish. Even the most dovish politician would hate to be blamed if something bad happens allegedly due to inadequate funding for defense.

Granted its shipbuilding advantages though, the PLA Navy has to address the following heavy odds against it:


(1) The PRC has yet to build up a full-fledged global navy. As a matter of fact, none of the maritime choke points would be passable if blocked by the U.S. Navy.

(2) The lack of a sizable nuclear-powered fleet severely limits the PLA Navy's strategic coverage. When it comes to submarine warfare, in particular, the U.S. Navy remains peerless.

(3)  Given Xi Jinping's money-burning Belt and Road projects, the PLA Navy still runs short of overseas bases for fueling and supplies. The few overseas bases it has are hardly defensible should the U.S. Navy choose to close them.

(4)  The PLA Navy has zero battle experience on a par with the U.S. Navy's. An inexperienced navy is not a good navy.


The PLA Navy is, at best, a self-defense force. 


Author: renqiulan


 

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