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This is a discussion on Chinese Navy News and Discussion within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; One of the biggest increases in China's naval amphibious capability has been in commercial RO-RO shipping. The military use of ...


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Old December 21st, 2010   #76
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One of the biggest increases in China's naval amphibious capability has been in commercial RO-RO shipping. The military use of commercial RO-RO vessels not new and is a vital part of US/UK naval operations.

Companies like state-owned CSC Shenzhen have added PCTC/PCC vessels that can double up as quick offload/onload amphibious transports. CSC has started to introduce 5000 CEU vessels and 8000 CEU vessels are mooted. Total capability just for that 1 entity is in excess of 27000 CEU alone which is several times increase from just a short decade ago. As a comparison, a heavy truck or bus is ~5-9 CEU. A 54 ton tank is ~64 CEU. PLA Army even organises personnel exercises (eg firefighting etc) on-board CSCSZ RO-RO vessels.

Once combined with other smaller players like Anji Logistics etc can add significant transport capability. One estimate suggests China's indigeneous commercial RO-RO capability is easily in excess of 80 vessels. A conservative basis using that estimate is that commercial RO-RO shipping could potentially add ~5-6 armoured/mechanised divisions worth of fast heavy vehicle offload per trip. If one adds hybrids like ROPAX vessels such as those operated by Shandong Bohai or rail transport such as those of Sinorail Bohai, the figure increases.

Of course, the use of commercial shipping is dependent on

a) establishing safe sealanes to the point of offload
b) a safe port/dock to offload (including possibly artificial or floating docks)

A 5000 CEU vessels would be a prime target. Nevertheless, it appears that China has been increasing its naval escort capability with Area AAW capable vessels, ASW helo capable warships and possibly CV escort.

It is also interesting to note that new PLA MBTs, certain IFVs as well as SPH artillery have low heights which would fit the height clearances of PCCs though not an issue for adjustible deck PCTCs which have dedicated heavy vehicle parks and greater free space between decks.

The use of commercial shipping is likely to be most appropriate in a Taiwan scenario as island landings such as in the South China Sea do not involve large scale dock landings.
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Old December 21st, 2010   #77
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One of the biggest increases in China's naval amphibious capability has been in commercial RO-RO shipping. The military use of commercial RO-RO vessels not new and is a vital part of US/UK naval operations.

Companies like state-owned CSC Shenzhen have added PCTC/PCC vessels that can double up as quick offload/onload amphibious transports. CSC has started to introduce 5000 CEU vessels and 8000 CEU vessels are mooted. Total capability just for that 1 entity is in excess of 27000 CEU alone which is several times increase from just a short decade ago. As a comparison, a heavy truck or bus is ~5-9 CEU. A 54 ton tank is ~64 CEU. PLA Army even organises personnel exercises (eg firefighting etc) on-board CSCSZ RO-RO vessels.

Once combined with other smaller players like Anji Logistics etc can add significant transport capability. One estimate suggests China's indigeneous commercial RO-RO capability is easily in excess of 80 vessels. A conservative basis using that estimate is that commercial RO-RO shipping could potentially add ~5-6 armoured/mechanised divisions worth of fast heavy vehicle offload per trip. If one adds hybrids like ROPAX vessels such as those operated by Shandong Bohai or rail transport such as those of Sinorail Bohai, the figure increases.

Of course, the use of commercial shipping is dependent on

a) establishing safe sealanes to the point of offload
b) a safe port/dock to offload (including possibly artificial or floating docks)

A 5000 CEU vessels would be a prime target. Nevertheless, it appears that China has been increasing its naval escort capability with Area AAW capable vessels, ASW helo capable warships and possibly CV escort.

It is also interesting to note that new PLA MBTs, certain IFVs as well as SPH artillery have low heights which would fit the height clearances of PCCs though not an issue for adjustible deck PCTCs which have dedicated heavy vehicle parks and greater free space between decks.

The use of commercial shipping is likely to be most appropriate in a Taiwan scenario as island landings such as in the South China Sea do not involve large scale dock landings.
Ro-Ro vessels have great logistic capacity and are valuable asset to any sea going power but they need functioning ports. I have trouble seeing in what kind of military conflict that China might be directly involved where that capacity would be a prim factor. Ro-Ro vessels and the kind of supplies that they can so effectively deliver generally come in to their best use as reinforcemenst to large formations or to sending support to allies that still have functioning ports or am I missing something? I don't think of it as Offensive capacity.
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Old December 21st, 2010   #78
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Ro-Ro vessels have great logistic capacity and are valuable asset to any sea going power but they need functioning ports..
They work best with functioning ports, but give them a nice calm sheltered anchorage & a load of Mexeflotes or equivalent & you can offload from them over a beach.
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Old December 25th, 2010   #79
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I think it is unlikely China is going to be able to challenge the USN or for that matter want to this century. Although the basis of sea power is the wealth of a nation (the decline of RN a good example) there has to be an intent. Wanting a blue water capability does not mean it is planning to challenge the USN.
We know PLAN is unlikely to win vs USN , but do they _need_ to?

So one needs to look at China's navy not in terms of "can it beat America" but in terms of "is it good enough to do what it needs to do?"

Consider:

Taiwan itself is divided about independence. How hard will they fight, especially if China is able to achieve a quick and relatively bloodless victory?

America can live without Taiwanese electronics and America loves cheap Chinese factories.

So will America pay the butchers bill if China is able to inflict some early casualties? America is fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq because of a direct terrorist threat to American security. Where this is not the case e.g. Somalia and Chechnia, America is much more casualty shy.

And will America intervene, if Taiwan decides not to resist? Who would be the "good guy" in that situation?

The PLAN may be close to being adequate. A few years perhaps?

edit - obviously this doesnt apply to a pearl harbor scenario; i am thinking china marches into taiwan, some people die, america and china fight, many chinese and some americans die; maybe taiwan gives up (it is divided), maybe america thinks "yea we can win, but we'd lose more people and we like chinese trade; taiwan will still provide us electronics but this time via china; let's forget this ever happened..."
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Old December 26th, 2010   #80
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America has stated they're committed to the defence of Taiwan but not if Taiwan declares independence and starts the conflict. Given that its hard to say Taiwan is divided on the issue.

edit: I'm struggling to think of any situation where military aggression in Asia would be tolerated. I can see limited disputes over various land claims but nothing of the scale you're suggesting, especially considering America seeming to increase its commitment in Asia recently along with its allies.
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Old December 26th, 2010   #81
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We know PLAN is unlikely to win vs USN , but do they _need_ to?

So one needs to look at China's navy not in terms of "can it beat America" but in terms of "is it good enough to do what it needs to do?"

Consider:

Taiwan itself is divided about independence. How hard will they fight, especially if China is able to achieve a quick and relatively bloodless victory?

America can live without Taiwanese electronics and America loves cheap Chinese factories.

So will America pay the butchers bill if China is able to inflict some early casualties? America is fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq because of a direct terrorist threat to American security. Where this is not the case e.g. Somalia and Chechnia, America is much more casualty shy.

And will America intervene, if Taiwan decides not to resist? Who would be the "good guy" in that situation?

The PLAN may be close to being adequate. A few years perhaps?

edit - obviously this doesnt apply to a pearl harbor scenario; i am thinking china marches into taiwan, some people die, america and china fight, many chinese and some americans die; maybe taiwan gives up (it is divided), maybe america thinks "yea we can win, but we'd lose more people and we like chinese trade; taiwan will still provide us electronics but this time via china; let's forget this ever happened..."
America is casualty shy in Chechnya? What are you smoking? There are no American troops there. Chechnya was at best an unrecognized and highly internally unstable dictatorship, located inside of Russia. An attempt to deploy any sort of international or US forces there would have brought the US to the brink of a major war. It's got nothing to do with being casualty shy, and everything with the simple fact that the US never had any intention, particular opportunity, or political justification for military involvement there.

In regards to Somalia, I dare say the US was not casualty shy, it was not willing to pay the (exorbitant) price tag to clean up a region of the world with relatively little geo-political significance.
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Old December 26th, 2010   #82
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America is casualty shy in Chechnya? What are you smoking? There are no American troops there. Chechnya was at best an unrecognized and highly internally unstable dictatorship, located inside of Russia. An attempt to deploy any sort of international or US forces there would have brought the US to the brink of a major war. It's got nothing to do with being casualty shy, and everything with the simple fact that the US never had any intention, particular opportunity, or political justification for military involvement there.

In regards to Somalia, I dare say the US was not casualty shy, it was not willing to pay the (exorbitant) price tag to clean up a region of the world with relatively little geo-political significance.
Hit the nail on the spot. Any ways the Chinese aren't stupid, they wont invade Taiwan unless they are capable of totally dismantling the Taiwanese military and holding off a U.S attack. Also one has to consider the nuclear factor, an escalated conflict between the U.S and China will easily turn nuclear
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Old December 26th, 2010   #83
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Originally Posted by randomsailor View Post
We know PLAN is unlikely to win vs USN , but do they _need_ to?

So one needs to look at China's navy not in terms of "can it beat America" but in terms of "is it good enough to do what it needs to do?"

Consider:

Taiwan itself is divided about independence. How hard will they fight, especially if China is able to achieve a quick and relatively bloodless victory?

America can live without Taiwanese electronics and America loves cheap Chinese factories.

So will America pay the butchers bill if China is able to inflict some early casualties? America is fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq because of a direct terrorist threat to American security. Where this is not the case e.g. Somalia and Chechnia, America is much more casualty shy.

And will America intervene, if Taiwan decides not to resist? Who would be the "good guy" in that situation?

The PLAN may be close to being adequate. A few years perhaps?

edit - obviously this doesnt apply to a pearl harbor scenario; i am thinking china marches into taiwan, some people die, america and china fight, many chinese and some americans die; maybe taiwan gives up (it is divided), maybe america thinks "yea we can win, but we'd lose more people and we like chinese trade; taiwan will still provide us electronics but this time via china; let's forget this ever happened..."
You're right the China/Taiwan situation is unlikely to develop into a global hot war. Not only America but Taiwan itself and the rest of Asia have interests in those Chinese factories.

The most extreme example China invades, the rest of the world would turn a blind eye now in the same way it did to India throwing the Portugese out of Goa. In reality this is a non-issue Taiwan will become a self governing province of China the way as HK/Macau as China moves from a from a bureaucracy to a democracy
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Old December 26th, 2010   #84
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You're right the China/Taiwan situation is unlikely to develop into a global hot war. Not only America but Taiwan itself and the rest of Asia have interests in those Chinese factories.

The most extreme example China invades, the rest of the world would turn a blind eye now in the same way it did to India throwing the Portugese out of Goa. In reality this is a non-issue Taiwan will become a self governing province of China the way as HK/Macau as China moves from a from a bureaucracy to a democracy
There is certainly a lot to think about from some of the recent posts. Some points I agree and some I don’t. True America will not fight for Taiwan if it will not fight for its self and America does not oppose the unification of Taiwan into China, if it is by the consent of its people. But the situation I believe is not what you think it is. If the Communist parity gives up its monopoly of power then Taiwan will be peacefully reintegrated within China proper. Most but not all, of the people in Taiwan want unification but what they want even more is freedom. If they can have both they will take both.

Many there are on this thread that can talk about economic, historical, and geo-political realities but to stop there is just foolishness. Freedom has a power all of its own. Freedom is greater than economic reality. There are many examples in the world’s history where a weaker, outnumbered, and even technologically out classed people have successfully stood up too and then defeated a greater power, when the people being attacked were fighting for their freedom and especially when the people that were attacking them, had less freedom than they themselves.

I believe there is enough support from the general Taiwanese population to fight and to fight hard if they are attacked. Fighting, once started would have, as a consequence of thenature of fighting, would bring even more people to the defense of their homes. Even people that would at first be willing to live under reduced freedom. That kind of action has a momentum all its own. And if China did attack and failed to take Taiwan, no matter for what reason that it failed, Taiwan would then never be reunited with a greater China. Just think of the consequences of how people would react?

As to the comment” the rest of the world would turn a blind eye now in the same way it did to India throwing the Portuguese out of Goa.” That was part of the reorganization of the world after post colonialism, when most of the people living in Goa favored reunification with India and the Portuguese were pretty bad colonists to boot. But the Portuguese’s colony that was taken over by the Indonesian’s in East Timor, which didn’t have local support had a very different outcome didn’t it?
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Old December 26th, 2010   #85
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This thread is wandering once again. Lets bring this back on topic. Chinese Navy and it's potential applications. Taiwanese and Chinese political dynamics are not part of this.
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Old December 27th, 2010   #86
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. Also one has to consider the nuclear factor, an escalated conflict between the U.S and China will easily turn nuclear

Thats why there has been no war between nuclear armed countries since they were introduced.
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Old December 27th, 2010   #87
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Thats why there has been no war between nuclear armed countries since they were introduced.
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India & Pakistan?
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Old December 27th, 2010   #88
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This thread is wandering once again. Lets bring this back on topic. Chinese Navy and it's potential applications. Taiwanese and Chinese political dynamics are not part of this.
In the history of warfare, equipment and weapons specifically developed for war at sea have often found many applications in land warfare but there are fewer examples of ether weapons or tactics developed for land use which have been taken successfully to sea without major modifications in both. It is hard to get accurate information about the modern Chinese navy but it still feels to be with what little I can find out, is that it is like an army like organization with an army like weapons, put on ships. That might not be a fair evaluation for it is just a feeling.

The Chines Navy has recently taken part in the anti-piracy operations off the East African cost. As I understand it, this is one of its first deployments outside their coastal waters. It has mainly been taken positively by the rest of the world as an indication that China and its navy are beginning to take some responsibility in the world. But there doesn’t seem to be a lot of other indications which are normally commonly seen in other large modern world raging navies. Do they go too far flung ports for friendship visits with open houses ship tours? Do they participate in ongoing scientific operations like the annual Antarctic research and resupply activities, or participate in ocean roaming Fish and other biologic studies, including the monitoring of illegal whale and fish caches outside of their exclusive economy zone,do they provide navigational and weather hazard informational alerts? You get the Idea.

I know that engaging in these activities are political decisions to be made at some level but it also gives the Chinese seaman a chance to gain varied Blue-Water ocean experience that every navy needs while making friends at the same time.
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Old December 27th, 2010   #89
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This thread is wandering once again. Lets bring this back on topic. Chinese Navy and it's potential applications. Taiwanese and Chinese political dynamics are not part of this.
Potential application of Chinese Navy is Taiwan. If China believes that they have chance for sufficient success to achieve aim, without having to fight entire US Navy, they might just do it.

My point is, people who said "there is no chance of confrontation as USN is so much stronger than PLAN" are making potentially huge error.
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Old December 27th, 2010   #90
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Potential application of Chinese Navy is Taiwan. If China believes that they have chance for sufficient success to achieve aim, without having to fight entire US Navy, they might just do it.

My point is, people who said "there is no chance of confrontation as USN is so much stronger than PLAN" are making potentially huge error.
Agree. The chinese psyche esp in the top echelons of the communist party do not tolerate thoughts of letting Taiwan go. Thats why when wikileaks suggest specific individuals suggest this, it becomes news as everyone is monitoring whether the next generation of chinese leaders will actually continue the same hardline stance on Taiwan.

Tactically, the USN assumptions do not include:

(a) actual deployments

USN is not entirely deployed facing China. Only a small fraction is and it will take time to consolidate the rest of USN. Same applies for the USAF but redeployment is significantly faster esp with bases in Korea and Japan. Having said that, there is a limit on the number of bases which will limit sortie rates.

On the other hand, be it NSF, ESF or SSF, any of the fleets have a potential to be quickly deployed in a taiwan conflict. PLAAF is similar constrained by airfields but it has significantly more.

(b) allied deployments

If Korea and Japan join the fight, China has to face significant forces. Okinawa is the closest base that US deploys at. China cannot afford to ignore it yet being Japanese soil, any chinese attack will likely draw Japan into the conflict.

The Chinese navy cannot handle the combined navies of Taiwan, Korea, Japan, the US as well as potential other APAC allies eg Australia over the next few decades at its current rate of growth. It doesn't take a military analyst to see that.
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