China’s first home-built aircraft carrier has recently undergone sea trials and is expected to enter service as early as next year. The Asian power already has one carrier in active service, the Liaoning, a refurbished Cold War-era vessel bought from Ukraine and commissioned in 2012.
In an editorial on May 13 — the day the as-yet-unnamed 50,000-ton Type 001A vessel and the country’s first “combat” aircraft carrier headed out for its first sea trial — the Global Times said “China is gradually stepping into an era of dual aircraft carriers” and its “second aircraft carrier highlights the country’s major progress.”
But, the paper, an influential offspring of the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, stated that “as a major power, China should have multiple aircraft carriers.”
The view that the rising superpower needs to build more aircraft carriers — at least six such vessels, with at least four of them being nuclear-powered — in the future is widely maintained by other Chinese state media outlets and analysts. Continue reading
China may be planning to build around 10 new bases for its future aircraft carriers, the state-owned Global Times newspaper reported on 20 April, amid speculation that the Asian country will operate at least six carriers in the coming years. Continue reading
China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force has announced that it will be organizing “regular” exercises that fly past the so-called first island chain — a key entryway into the western Pacific that includes Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan.
In the latest exercise, air force spokesman Shen Jinke said China had sent a fleet of aircraft that included H-6K bombers, Su-30 fighters and air tankers over the Bashi Strait and into the western Pacific for a “routine” combat simulation drill Monday, state media reported. Continue reading
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF) bomber force recently conducted exercises beyond “the first island chain” according to the Chinese defense ministry. Continue reading
The People’s Liberation Army Navy last week held large-scale military exercises in the East China and South China seas, according to Sina’s military news web portal.
The targets of the two military exercises were not announced in the PLA press release. Military affairs websites have suggested that the South China Sea exercise is likely aimed at territory within what China calls the “first island chain” — the term the Chinese military uses to refer to the string of archipelagos extending from the Kuril islands south through Japan and its Ryukyu islands, Taiwan and the Philippines — likely in preparation for a potential scenario in which a US aircraft carrier war fleet break through the first island chain. Although this is a reasonable assumption, in a real combat scenario, relying on anti-ship missiles, conventional submarine-launched missiles and air-launched cruise missiles with a range of just 300 kilometers to take on a carrier fleet means that all the warships, planes and submarines would have to penetrate the carrier fleet’s outer defenses and approach its inner defenses to fire their payload. This kind of scenario is hard to imagine playing out in reality, given the naval power of the US. Continue reading
Beijing is developing a maritime strategy aimed at protecting the first island chain which encircles the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and South China Sea.
However, according to Stratfor, the People’s Liberation Army still lacks the means to counter the threat posed by fast and evasive US nuclear submarines. Continue reading
Chinese defense officials say Beijing needs to develop a long-range strategic bomber capable of striking enemies farther away from its coast in the event of a conflict.
The Chinese government has ramped up defense spending in recent years, particularly on its navy, which has commissioned its first aircraft carrier and is adding to its submarine and surface fleets.
But according to the latest issue of Kanwa Defence Review, a Canada-based defense and weapons technology publication, a meeting of Chinese military officials recently deemed the country’s air force to be a “strategic force” – a title previously reserved for the Second Artillery Corps, the country’s de facto strategic missile force. Continue reading
Between 2004 and 2006, the People’s Liberation Army Navy kept itself within the region known as the First Island Chain in the Pacific, extending from Alaska to the Philippines, to avoid direct confrontation with the United States and its security partners. But the PLA Navy enhanced training in disciplines that enabled it to take steps toward conducting operations further from China’s coast into the “blue water” of the open ocean, he wrote. Continue reading
This is also exactly why China and a few other nations wanted to ‘combat piracy’ in the open seas. They used this as a cover to patrol areas they really had no need to, show their presence and the ability project power. At the same time, they got a win-win because they received good public reactions as they successfully portrayed themselves as fighting terrorism.
Chinese merchant vessels could be used as cover to allow PLA ballistic missile submarines to penetrate the “First Island Chain,” extending from Alaska to the Philippines, during peace time, according to Chinese Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo, cited by state-run People’s Daily. Continue reading
After all the technology the Clintons had given the Chinese during their tenure, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. America even trained the PLAAF for combat readiness on American soil, sold them super computer technology for nuclear weapons labs that has helped them build the nuclear weapons they have today.
Erich Shih, a military expert from Taiwan, says the United States may withdraw its forces from the Pacific First Island Chain–which stretches from Alaska to the Philippines–to the Second Island Chain in the central Pacific as China’s expands its force projection capability, according to the People’s Daily. Continue reading
Modernising the military is one of China’s four pillars in its modernisation drive which includes education, industry and infrastructure, military and agriculture.
China’s largest strategic concern – regime survival and domestic stability – directly links to its economy. To sustain its economic growth China has to be depending increasingly on its external supply of energy, raw materials and food. So the development of Sea Line of Communication or (SLOCs) is vitally important as more than 80% of China’s trade go through the sea. The majority of the energy comes from the country’s coal about 65 %, 30% by oil and remaining by gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power. Continue reading
BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – Despite escalating tensions in East Asia, German companies have announced new arms exports to Western allies in China’s vicinity. Kiel’s HGW shipbuilding company has confirmed its decision to sell two submarines to Singapore. In the island disputes in eastern and southeastern Asia, Singapore is seen as one of the West’s reliable partners. The current territorial disputes over the archipelago known as the “Diaoyu Islands” (in China) and the “Senkaku Islands” (in Japan), which are claimed by both countries, gives an indication of the conflicts emerging in the region. Interest in these islands is based not so much on their resources but rather on conflicting geo-strategic interests: These Islands are part of a chain of islands Beijing considers an important defense against possible aggression. Berlin is observing these tensions with apprehension because they could threaten German business interests. German arms exports to the region, as well as the Bundeswehr’s growing cooperation with Japan, South Korea and other Western allies, are an indication that, in the case of an escalation of conflict, Germany would take sides – against China. Continue reading
Maritime Grab: Iran isn’t the only nuclear threat to worry about. As its military and economy have grown, so too have China’s dreams of dominating an island chain centered on Taiwan and including Japan’s Senkakus.
China’s increased belligerence in the region is part of its plan to control the Yellow Sea, the South China Sea and the larger East China Sea. Its military doctrine refers to dominance over the “first island chain,” which encompasses the East China Sea. Continue reading