How is China modernizing its navy? | ChinaPower Project
China traditionally are land power similar to Russia, but now, it has vast interest oversea, most its resource are import from oversea. So its natural they want a blue navy to protect that interest, any nation would do it. As for ScS, there is no doubt china want dominated influence in the region, but not necessary claim entire region as territory.
Right now, China has the second most capable navy in Asia after the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (海上自衛隊 or JMSDF). The JMSDF has a fleet of 154 ships and 346 aircraft and consists of approximately 45,800 personnel.
Broadsword: China's navy surpasses India's in both strength and doctrine
This rapid development and growth in tonnage has seen the PLA(N) surpassing the combined naval fleets of S. Koreans and the Indians in JUST one decade. The PLA(N) is building warships at an unprecedented rate. It now operates an aircraft carrier, 33 destroyers, 50 frigates, 41 corvettes, 109 missile boats and 75 submarines – a fleet three-to-five times the size of India’s. With its current ship building rate, it is only a matter of time (within the next 20 years) before the PLAN will not only surpass the JMSDF in ship tonnage and naval capability but also be a challenge for the USN - see above link on ChinaPower Project.
But the issue or concerns for littoral nations in the South China Sea isn’t about the development of self defence for China to protect its trade routes. Rather, the concern is with recent Chinese attempts to take (by force) maritime features or interfere with ‘freedom’ of navigation - which is well documented.
On the first issue, Viet Nam and Philippines has lost in this pushing contest around the Spratly Islands and in the Hai Yang Shi You 981 standoff. Earthrise Media, which analyzed satellite images by DigitalGlobe, of China’s building counts that spanned the years 2014 to 2017. Based on these data, 780 of these Chinese built structures can be found in the West Philippine Sea, the part of the South China Sea that is claimed by the Philippines. In particular, the Chinese structures can be found on the artificial islands constructed on the following reefs:
- Subi Reef, "now home to nearly 400 individual buildings," according to Reuters
- Mischief Reef and Fiery Cross Reef, that "each house almost 190 buildings and structures"
Further, in 2012, the China took control of Scarborough Shoal after a standoff with the Philippine Navy, since then China had effective control of the shoal.
- Woody Island
, occupied by China since 1956, has undergone a major expansion of its runway and airport facilities, including a new concrete runway measuring 2,920 meters in length. Apart from the air defense systems that were recently uncovered, there is also significant Chinese military activity on other parts of Woody Island. A key feature of the base is its runway, which gives China the ability to send and receive combat aircraft. In November 2015, J-11 fighter jets were reportedly deployed to the base. China’s deployment of missiles and the rotation of J-11 fighters in Woody is a triggering factor that intensifies this security dilemma.
Eighty kilometers southwest of Woody, on Duncan Island (seized by China from Viet Nam in 1974) satellite images show landfill that has increased the size of the island.
- On 24th Mar 2016, the MMEA reported
that it was monitoring 100 Chinese fishing vessels escorted by two Chinese Coast Guard ships encroaching Malaysian waters around the South Luconia Shoals in the South China Sea near the town of Miri in Sarawak, East Malaysia.
On the second, Australia, India, UK, France, and Japan have joined the Americans in pushing back against Chinese efforts to obstruct ‘freedom’ of navigation. In addition, the ‘wall of sand’ island building efforts by China and China’s imposition of ADIZ affecting commercial flight routes is a concern for Taiwan and Japan. For example, JASDF scrambles to identify unknown penetrating aircraft mainly from China and Russia have steadily risen from about 300 annually in 2012 to a peak of almost 1200 in 2016. In 2017, the number of scrambles declined to around 900: 55% against Chinese intruders and 43% Russian. A broadly similar ratio was held up in 2018 until the end of the third quarter; there were 758 scrambles, an average of almost three a day. Most Chinese aircraft intercepted by the Japanese are fighters; for Russia, intelligence collector aircraft are the most frequently encountered. In other words, China not only has competing claims with Taiwan and Japan, it conducts armed overflights. Since 2016, the JASDF has often launched four aircraft for each scramble. The front two aircraft undertake visual identification, while the two rear aircraft manage any additional intruders that join in and try to interfere. Scrambles now may also use E-2C airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to coordinate the intercept, sanitise the airspace and avoid tactical surprise. The JASDF is taking its daily scrambles very seriously. Implications behind PLA warplanes' cruise around Taiwan island - China Military
The Japanese, the Indians and S. Koreans who have capable navies are not seen as a ‘threat’ to the littoral nations in the South China Sea in the same way that the PLA(N) and the Chinese coast guard have acted. In contrast, China has shown itself, through its actions that it interested in projecting power abroad.
From an individual member state's perspective, Beijing can be a useful counter-weight to Washington and vice-versa. Even treaty allies with the US in ASEAN (namely Thailand and the Philippines) have different interests, with regards to disputes in the South China Sea. Thailand does not have a maritime dispute with China. But China is also seen as a threat (especially to Viet Nam and the Philippines). The Sino-Thai friendship developed when China withdrew its support of the communist movement in Thailand, removing red threats from within and outside of the country. This bilateral relationship drew bloomed in the late 1970s when Bangkok needed Beijing's military and strategic support to cope with an expansionist Vietnam. Unlike the Philippines and Viet Nam, whose ties with China are strained over disputes in the South China Sea, Thailand and China have exceptionally close ties - with evolving military to military ties. China, Thailand kick off "Joint Strike-2019" counter-terrorism exercise - China Military
China parades new warship as navy celebrates 70th anniversary | DW | 23.04.2019
In the last 4 years since protecting civilians through the evacuation of its own citizens (and other foreign nationals) from Aden, the Chinese Navy has become even more capable.
China main concern are still domestic, such as economy, if its economy slow/fail, people will become discontent, Xi power will weaken. War with major power these days are slim, due to globalism, and escalation to nuke(maybe), there is too much too lose on both side unlike before WWII.
I also hope for peace but as the others have pointed out, the desire for trade alone does not prevent wars. We are doomed if we don’t learn from history. Having and developing military capability gives rise to the temptation to use it.
There is no point looking at something 100years from now, we all be dead.
But this is a discussion thread on defence and geo-politics which have long time frames.