China’s vast fleet is tipping the balance in the Pacific

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 30, 2019 - Duration: 02:18s

China’s vast fleet is tipping the balance in the Pacific

The Chinese navy, which is growing faster than any other fleet, now controls the seas off its coast.

Once dominant, the United States and its allies sail warily in these waters.

A former U.S. naval officer says China's advances have caught America napping.


China’s vast fleet is tipping the balance in the Pacific

In just over two decades, the Chinese military, known as the People’s Liberation Army, has mustered one of the mightiest naval forces in the world.

That is shifting the balance of power in the Western Pacific.

The United States, which has long been dominant in the region, now sails warily in these waters.

China’s navy is growing faster than any other fleet and now controls the seas off its coast.

In raw numbers, the PLA navy now has the world’s biggest fleet.

Western analysts say it has about 400 warships and submarines.

On the other hand, the U.S. Navy has shrunk and it is overworked.

As of March, the Pentagon said it had 288 warships and submarines.

Globally the U.S. is still the dominant maritime force.

Some American naval experts believe China could achieve rough parity with the U.S. Navy in numbers and quality of major surface warships by 2030.

A former U.S. naval officer says China’s advances have caught America napping.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s shift to the sea is central to his bold bid to make China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, the top military power in the region.

In November, a bipartisan commission set up by the U.S. Congress to review the Trump administration’s national defense strategy reached a shocking conclusion: In a war with China over Taiwan, it said America could face a decisive military defeat.

The Pentagon is beginning to respond.

It is rebuilding its fleet and accelerating development of new weapons.

This includes the introduction of longer-range missiles.

Despite its advances, China faces challenges in its drive to become a global naval power.

It is struggling to catch up in some vital naval technologies and still relies on foreign suppliers for some engines, weapons and sensors.

It is also way behind the U.S. in anti-submarine warfare.

But close to its shores, China has become a formidable force and as it continues to grow in confidence, U.S. and Chinese military officials say Xi Jinping plans to challenge U.S. Navy’s dominance further afield, in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.

You are here

Recent related videos from verified sources

Russian warship 'behavior unsafe, unprofessional': Shanahan 00:41
Credit: Reuters - Politics - Published 2 weeks ago 

You might like