Can China and Russia Challenge the Dominance of the U.S. Navy?

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

15th January, 2016

People’s Daily

According to the China Central television (CCTV), on January 5th, the U.S. Navy had released a report which stated that after the end of the cold war the U.S. Navy did not face competition. Now, however, the rise of military power of China and Russia has led to the fact that the armed forces of the United States for the first time in 25 years face an enemy.

What is the strength of the American Navy?

The report is entitled: “The preservation of the dominant position of the USA on the sea”. The report analyses the current situation of the U.S. Navy, and its main problems, besides the list of measures that will be taken by the U.S. to solve problems in the next 4 years.

In fact, despite regular threats and challenges, it is undeniable that the U.S. Navy remain the most powerful naval military force in the world. More important is the fact that the technological research and development of the U.S. army did not stop in December 2015. The latest American destroyer “Zumwalt” passed the first test, and if all goes well the ship will be ready for service in 2016; the new generation of aircraft carrier “Ford” is also planned to used in maintenance this year, and by 2019 will have combat abilities.

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Military expert Yin Zhuo stressed that the U.S. Navy is strong in firstly, “level of information”, it has a leading position in areas such as electronic warfare, etc, all combat platforms can be included in the network, which significantly strengthens the joint combat capability. In addition, the U.S. Navy has been at the forefront of innovation around the world, “a generation ahead” of military equipment to other countries.

What pressure does China and Russia put on the U.S Navy?

In the last published U.S. Navy’s report, it describes the opponents as China and Russia, these two States continue to increase armaments, including many of those arms aim at the weaknesses of the United States.

The reduction in the budget of the USA means that, when faced with a challenge, the U.S. Navy will not be able to solve problems based on the purchase of weapons. With regard to the development of the Chinese Navy, the American military party naturally focused on the simultaneous leap in quantity and quality in recent years. With regard to quantitative indicators, in accordance with the data of the “Report on security strategy for the Maritime areas of the Asia-Pacific region”, in 2015 the total number of Chinese warships had increased to 303. According to the American military, the number of Chinese warships does not only exceeded this figure in all other Asian countries, but they surpassed the American naval forces on the same day, when the U.S. Navy unveiled the latest report, “Associated Press” quoted a military source that said currently they have 272 warships, so the  U.S  are already behind China.

As for quality, for USA the main concern is aircraft carriers and submarines. Recently, the Ministry of Defence of China announced that the first aircraft carrier of Chinese production is under construction in Dalian. Chinese officials have not disclosed plans for future Chinese carriers, but the Pentagon believes that by 2030 the Chinese Navy will possess a variety of carriers.

In addition, recently, the U.S. high-level naval military also confirmed that the Chinese strategic nuclear submarines in 2015 for the first time made a strategic voyage, saying that it means the first generation of “nuclear abilities of sea base” in the true sense. However, this information was not confirmed by the Ministry of Defence of China.

Yin Zhuo said that the US Navy telling lies about the threat from Chinese Navy is mainly in a struggle for their military spending. In recent years, the Chinese fleet closed the gap in the development of military technology with the USA, but the USA still has hope. As in the past, regarding the control of the sea areas around China, in the future, the Chinese Navy will certainly be strengthening its capacity to protect its vital interests.

Yin Zhuo: “The Pressure of the Russian Navy on the United States is mainly reflected in nuclear power and the threat of tactical nuclear weapons on American aircraft carriers and other purposes. Russia is the only country that can destroy the U.S-based naval nuclear weapons. Currently the Russian Navy is revived and in the future may shift from coastal defense to far sea waters. Without the USA, no European country can achieve a capacity like the Russian Navy. The military forces of the United States are inseparable from Europe, resulting in a transfer of the strategic center of gravity to the East.”

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