Chinese Navy Will Grow Stronger than the US, What for?Posted: April 24, 2018
In its article “How Does China’s Navy Compare to America’s?”. Newsweek quotes Admiral Phil Davidson, a nominee to lead U.S. Pacific Command and current head of the Navy’s Fleet Forces Command on the East Coast, as saying at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that China “is no longer a rising power but an arrived great power and peer competitor.”
According to retired Rear Admiral Terence Edward McKnight, projecting force is more difficult than fighting close to home, so that Newsweek says, “It may already be too late to challenge China in its home waters. For all its protests, the U.S. has been unable to stop or slow the construction of artificial islands in the sea, which have effectively fortified China’s disputed claims.”
Such fast development of Chinese Navy to safeguard its rights and interests it has claimed for centuries in the South China Sea is indispensable for China and in fact nothing to do for the US, but why does China compete with the US in the development of navy?
If it wants to protect its trade lifelines through the oceans, I said in my book “Space Era Strategy” that development of aerospace bombers is quite enough.
Why shall China have a navy stronger than the US?
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative for China’s economic expansion in the world makes that necessary as China has to protect its growing interests abroad. Historically, Silk Road only provided China with connections with Europe and the Middle East but Xi’s Silk Road now will stretch to the entire world including South America. (See my post “China’s Economic Expansion Welcome in Latin America” yesterday.)
Due to such economic expansion, China needs a navy stronger than the US to protect its interests all over the world as the US will challenge China in the high seas with its navy. Due to the Thucydides Trap mentality, the US will not allow China to grow stronger than it. Certainly it is possible that the US may not fall into the trap, but China has to be prepared. If its navy has grown much stronger than the US, the US simply dare not challenge China.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Newsweek’s article, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.newsweek.com/how-does-chinas-navy-compare-us-897209.