郭宝胜 Baosheng Guo
郭宝胜 Baosheng Guo

Chinese Naval Power: the largest don’t equal the strongest

Through analyzing the China Department of Defense’s “2020 China Military Power Report”, the U.S. intelligence confirmed that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has already become the largest navy in the world. But the largest don’t equal the strongest, the PLAN has many weaknesses, the U.S. Navy has more advantages so far. 

According to research, the PLAN has surpassed the U.S. Navy in total battle force ships, about 360 to 297. By 2025, the PLAN is predicted to field as many as 400 vessels whereas the U.S. Navy only to field 355.  The PLAN also has two aircraft carriers, and it is building up the third and fourth aircraft carriers. Its aim is to surpass the amount of U.S. aircraft carriers. Additionally, a new Chinese nuclear submarine base on Hainan Island in the South China Sea has been built. In Sanya Hainan base, a high-quality partially underground submarine facility, the Pentagon thought that there were six nuclear-powered attack submarines and four ballistic missile submarines. Also, the PLAN can break through the First Island Chain and into the Pacific, and the PLAN has built and controlled at least seven artificial islands in the South China Sea. The PLAN is certainly a large threatening to the U.S. Navy. 

However, PLAN’s warships are not high quality, they include either small coastal patrol ships or their amphibious transport and landing ships. Lacking quality and amount of aircraft carriers is the fatal flaw for China’s Navy. Meanwhile, the PLAN has not the supporting by allies. Its single ally – North Korea has a very weak Navy. On the contrary, the U.S. has more alliances in Indo-Pacific, such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan, most states have a high-quality Navy. And all states have close relations with the U.S. in confronting the PLAN. British HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group just patrolling in the South China Sea indicated that NATO is also the ally against the PLAY. So, the U.S. Navy needs to use its advantages and expand its strength to defeat the fast-developing PLAN.   


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