Hope your spring cleaning is going better than mine!
Found this interesting. I did my master's thesis on the rise of China and a sobering thought was with current projections, China will have more nuclear submarines in the Pacific than the U.S. Navy sometime in the 2020s. Will that change with the Trump administration, we'll see.
China's Navy Takes a Bow
Even as China continues to prioritize its near-seas defense, it will accelerate the development of its navy's ability to project considerable force far from the Chinese mainland.
While China already has made considerable strides in developing the necessary components for a globally operating navy, a number of obstacles will limit its global maritime ambitions.
Beijing will continue to build up its naval strength in the years to come, but it will continue to lag the U.S. Navy's force projection capabilities for decades to come.
In many ways, China's rise has been built on the back of its seagoing fleet. Chinese commercial shipping helped carry its economy to global prominence. And its bulked-up naval forces allow it not only to back up its maritime claims in the South and East China seas, but also to increasingly project power far beyond its shores. Now, China's shipbuilding prowess — and its global reach — have taken a demonstrable leap forward with the completion of its first fully domestically built aircraft carrier.
Externally, the Type 001A aircraft carrier, which launched April 26 after 3 1/2 years of construction, is similar to China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which the country built atop the hulk of a stripped-down surplus Ukrainian ship. The new carrier features the same ski jump-style takeoff ramp as the Liaoning but incorporates internal features that make it more operationally effective. The technical advances in China's growing carrier program, alongside the rapid development of other aspects of Chinese naval power, point to Beijing growing ability to fulfill its global aspirations and naval ambitions.
The Chinese navy's principal mission remains the "offshore waters defense" of claimed Chinese territory, both the territorial waters 12 nautical miles from its mainland and its maritime claims in the South and East China seas. Those near seas encompass the waters ringed by the series of islands stretching from Japan to the Philippines to Indonesia, which the Chinese dub the "first island chain." To defend those claims, the Chinese have developed a layered approach to denying sea access by other countries. That strategy employs a combination of fast-attack missile craft, submarines, and the land-based anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles of China's Rocket Force rather than large surface ships to counter and intercept encroaching ships and aircraft....
...The Importance of Chinese Shipbuilding
China's global maritime ambitions have been bolstered by a domestic shipbuilding industry that over the past decade has proved remarkably capable at producing large numbers of top-line warships and supply vessels. Indeed, China is already working on its third aircraft carrier, the Type 002. That vessel is expected to use a catapult-assisted takeoff and arrested recovery system that would allow it to launch and land larger aircraft with greater payloads than a ski jump system is capable of doing. Eventually, China is expected to possess a six-ship carrier fleet, allowing its navy to have four in operation at a time, which would give it a capability second only to that of the U.S. Navy....
...China also has a long way to go in modernizing its anti-submarine warfare capabilities. Chinese naval squadrons, particularly those operating with insufficient land-based air cover, would be highly vulnerable to submarine attack. China is only now beginning to make considerable progress in anti-submarine warfare with new helicopter programs and the development of the Type 054B frigate, which is optimized to counter submarines...