China's Real Blue Water Navy (Page 2 of 4)

Given Beijing’s substantial focus on issues unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, it is hardly surprising that there are no reliable indications at this time that China desires a truly-global blue water navy akin to that of the U.S. today, or which the Soviet Union maintained for some time, albeit at the eventual cost of strategic overextension. China does seeks to develop a “blue water” navy in the years to come—but one that is more “regional” than “global” in nature. Chinese strategists term this a “regional [blue-water] defensive and offensive-type” (区域防御进攻性) navy.

China has three key interests in the maritime domain. The first concerns the Near Seas (primarily the East and South China Seas) and their immediate approaches in the Western Pacific, where China vies for regional influence with maritime neighbors such as Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, as well as the U.S. Fault lines are hardening in regional maritime disputes, as shown by the July 2010 ASEAN Regional Forum, where the bloc betrayed a deepening schism between the countries such as Cambodia, which are largely continental in their strategic orientation, and/or share land borders with China; and those such as the Philippines which share disputed maritime claims with Beijing but enjoy the buffers of water and alliance with the Washington.

Second, China’s natural resource supply chain has become truly global, and in areas such as the Indian Ocean region Beijing faces threats from pirates and non-state actors. Key areas of interest are the deep-water passages through Southeast Asia—especially the Malacca, Sunda, and Lombok straits—and the key shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean emanating from the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and Eastern Africa. The PLAN’s ongoing anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden is the centerpiece example of a limited out-of-area naval operation in pursuit of China’s national interests.

Third, a growing number of Chinese citizens are working abroad in volatile areas, where a growing constellation of Chinese-owned economic assets have been invested. As the PLAN becomes more capable, there is growing nationalist pressure for Beijing to show the flag in support of PRC expats under threat from civil strife and other dangers. The result is that in future crises, the PLAN is likely to respond as it did in February 2011 when the missile frigate Xuzhou was dispatched to the Mediterranean to signal that Chinese citizens trapped in Libya could not be harmed with impunity.

Based on these potential contingencies, we believe Beijing is building a navy to handle a high-intensity conflict close to home where it can be supported by its large fleet of conventionally-powered submarines and shore-based missiles and aircraft. Vessels such as China’s soon-to-be-commissioned aircraft carrier and Type 071 amphibious assault ships could be helpful in certain limited conflict scenarios against far-less-capable opponents—particularly in the South China Sea. Yet these large but limited capital ships’ most likely use will be for handling missions geared toward:

1.      The regional mission of showing the flag in disputed areas and attempting to deter potential adversaries;

2.      Handling non-traditional security missions both in the East Asian/Western Pacific and Indian Ocean regions such as suppression of piracy, protecting/evacuating Chinese citizens trapped abroad by violence, and disaster response; as well as

3.      Making diplomatically-oriented cruises such as the recent visits to Black Sea ports, which are aimed at showing the flag and showing foreign and domestic audiences that China is becoming a truly global power.

Comments
134
Fluffy
May 6, 2013 at 16:32

The authors obviously put a lot of effort into this piece. To receive comments such as that from Mr Beijing Olympics 2008 must make the authors wonder why they should even bother publishing it on the web.  

[...] China’s geographical, economic, and (in some cases) technological advantages do not transfer to capabilities that would allow it to engage in high-intensity combat beyond the country’s [...]

Bongskie
February 18, 2013 at 16:19

The 1979 war between China and Vietnam was a huge failure for china as it lost more soldiers in that war than Vietnam did. If they will attack Vietnam tomorrow or the Philippines, they better make sure that they can "whack" them well because otherwise, China might repeat its 1979 embarassment once more all over agin but this time to be seen on CNN, Fox News, and Al Jazeera. These war-mongers supporting China are not here on Earth to make peace but to push their citizens to a war they don't wish to fight. Theirs is a government who try to legitimize their dubious claim over islands belonging to their neighbors by using threat and intimidation plus harassment. I am not envious towards the people of china as I pity them for having a government who knows nothing but to rob the rights of other nations as they effectively rob the rights of the people of China.

McLo
February 18, 2013 at 11:00

You're a fool. The J-20 is larger but it definitely doesn't have a better performance than the F-22 does. Lol, only a CCP shill would ever believe the lies that are told by their oppressive government and fellow two faced comrades. Also fix your grammar.

[...] rate will be a particularly revealing barometer of the PLAN’s future expeditionary intentions,” wrote Andrew Erickson, an analyst at the U.S. Naval War College. The more new oilers, the farther China will be able to [...]

[...] are still in the dark as to how the two countries’ navies would handle such a contingency. China’s development into a full spectrum, blue-water navy is well catalogued, whether it is the commissioning of its Type 071 landing platform docks (LPDs), new Type 52D [...]

[...] a particularly revealing barometer of the PLAN’s future expeditionary intentions,” wrote Andrew Erickson, an analyst at the US Naval War College. The more new oilers, the farther China will be able to [...]

Kempei Matsuya
January 18, 2013 at 18:12

@Broncazonk -  As a reader here, I must say you are nothing but a little nasty piece of low life sh*t who lies without compunction.  Nothing that "US's Sands of Time Running Out" says conforms with the BS you lay out.  Who's your father, boy?  What a sleazebag!

[...] will be a particularly revealing barometer of the PLAN’s future expeditionary intentions,” wrote Andrew Erickson, an analyst at the U.S. Naval War College. The more new oilers, the farther China will be able to [...]

[...] be a particularly revealing barometer of the PLAN’s future expeditionary intentions,” wrote Andrew Erickson, an analyst at the US Naval War College. The more new oilers, the farther China will be able to [...]

CommonSense
November 26, 2012 at 20:39

Well, let us pray more level heads prevail than the hotheads of these forums.  Nations build navies to protect interests and project power and/or influence.  The most influential player right now is the US Navy but fiscal realities will soon pare down the already pared down global blue water presence of that navy.  Expect Russia and China to fill the growing void. 
As technology advances one would expect to see the demise of floating sovereigns.  They are extremely expensive and can bankrupt treasuries rather quickly.

Ray O. Abad
November 26, 2012 at 14:05

Phil. is no match to china militarily speaking but we will fight with or without US help. we need to protect what is ours if not we don't have room in this planet to stay.

[...] Collins & Erickson open by taking “Death by Blue Water Navy” to task over the statement that “[T]he People’s Republic is moving forward at Manhattan Project speed to develop a blue water navy capable of challenging the U.S. Navy.”  Instead, Collins & Erickson argue that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is building two layers of capabilities: high-tech anti-navy systems that focus on contested near waters (East & South China Seas); and low-end capabilities for peacetime missions elsewhere.  Their thesis is that there is little evidence that the PLAN is developing the ability to challenge the US Navy outside of its near waters, and that the PLAN is more concerned with protecting far-flung sea lines of communication and Chinese citizens abroad. [...]

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