Skip to comments.The Rising Sea Dragon in Asia - 2005 UPDATE
Posted on 03/07/2005 9:49:24 AM PST by Jeff Head
By Jeff Head, February 2005
As an update to the original "Rising Sea Dragon in Asia", that I publiushed in January of 2004 (and have been writing and warning about since 2000), I offer this update, dated in February of 2005. This report is fairly short and broad, and I believe does not contain the detail necessary to reflect the true scope of the emerging threat. But it does clearly indicate the nature and size of the current Red Chinese buildup, and their is only one principle power that such a buildup can be directed at, the United States military.
Regarding the continuing naval buildup, the Chinese have already built and launched two of the brand new, very modern, Aegis type Lanzhou Class destroyers, two of the new Guangzhou Class guided missile destroyers, two new Ma'anshan Class guided missile frigates, four of the new large Type 73 Amphibious Assault ships (that's right, four in a very short time frame and more building...can you guess what these are inded for?), and a class of very modern diesle-electric attack subs. In addition, the west has now seen another new class, dubbed the Type 51C that was just launched in December of 2005 in the Dalian, Liaoning Province. Another area air defense destroyer similar to the Type 52C, Lanzho class, this new class is similar in appearance to the Arleigh Burke class original batch destroyers, and is based on the late 1990's Luhai class hull.. It has an Aegis type air defense capability, but no helo facilities, while the two new Type 52C's are similar to the Arliegh Burke Batch IIA ships, with onboard helicopter landing and housing facilities.
All of this is in addition to acquiring four very modern and capable Hangzhou Class destroyers from Russia and a total of twelve very modern Russian diesel-electric subs, as well as currently building their own new and modern classes of nuclear attack subs and ballistic missile submarines, along with continuing heavy research into aircraft carrier design and/or refitting.
The efforts continue unabated as the Red Chinese continue to build or aquire these EIGHT new classes of ships simultaneously at a rapid pace. Eight new classes of ships at once represents a HUGE outlay in technology and capital across the board. It is almost unheard of and is representative of the massive arms build-up the Red Chinese are embarked upon with their new found wealth. If continued, it can have but one goal in mind, a direct challenge for naval dominance in the Pacific Rim and beyond. As stated, that challenege is a direct one to the United States Navy.
The brand new construction and launch of the area air defense, Aegis-like, Type 51C Class destroyer.
The new Lanzhou Class (Type 52C) Aegis-like destroyer. 1st commissioned in July 2004, second in service in early 2005.
The new Guangzhou Class (Type 52B) Guided Missile Destroyer. 1st commissioned in July 2004, second in service in early 2005.
The new Hangzhou Class (Type 951/EM) guided missile destroyers. Four acquired from Russia in the last five years, two already in service, two more in 2005. They carry the Russian Sunburn or Moskit cruise missiles, designed to attack US Aircraft Carriers.
The new Ma'anshan Class (Type 054) Guided Missile frigates. Two launched in late 2003, will be in service in early 2005.
Two of the new Type 73 Amphibious Assault Ship class, of which three have already been built.
The new Yuan Class SSK diesel/electric attack submanrine.
The new Russian acquired Kilo Class SSK diesle/electric attack submarines, of which four have been acquired and EIGHT MORE are on order.
Coninued outfitting of the former Russian Vayrag at the Dalian shipyards.
Red Chinese SU-30 and SU-27SK (J11) and SU-27 aircraft.
The chinese Produced J-10 attack fighter.
As these ships are produced in numbers and as the Chinese continue with their across the board naval buildup and their carrier development plans towards ultimately lauching their own, the balance of power in the China Sea and western Pacific is going to hang in the balance. Do not forget, the Chinese have purchased and are studying and apparently refitting western style and Russian aircraft carriers. Their intentions in this regard, with the production of all the support and defense ships necessary to form carrier battle groups of their own is clear. Even without those groups, they are poducing a formidable force to challenge our groups in the inner island chain in the western Pacific.
While the Chinese experience level with this equipment is lacking and will be very much inferior to the decades of practical experience the United States Navy has, there is no doubt that the Chinese are embarked on a path to challenge that experience and heretofore dominance of the U.S. Navy in the region at some point. If within range of large numbers of land-based aircraft and missiles, and if coupled with modern, capable weapons systems like the Sunburn or Moskit missiles and perhaps supercavitiating torpedo technology, a credible threat to American naval supremecy in the western Pacific could be posed in the next few years...and this does not even address their continued rapid buildup of ballistic missiles and modernization program across the board of their land based armed forces, which are proceeding at a similar pace as that described here regarding their navy and naval air forces.
Although the hefty12-14% increase in direct military expenditures of the Red Chinese (and this does not include dual use and so-called private sector input to the defense apparatus-just remeber, in the Red Chinese system, there is no real private sector) represents a small proportion of US Military outlays, remember as well that a significant portion of western outlays goes towards relatively high salaries, benefits, and health care costs that the Chinese system is not burdened with. In terms of outlays towards pure military weapons systems directly, the Chinese are rapidly catching up with western numbers. All of this bears very serious consideration and planning.
While we do so, consider this: As stated, the Chinese are currently building and launching eight modern, entire classes of major combatant vessels (not including the two new nuclear attack and strategic missile submarines)...simultaneously. This is a monumental achievement and compares to the United States Navy which is currently building and launching three new classes of major combatants (the Virginia class subs, the San Antonio class LPDs, and the continuing Burk class destroyers) with plans for two to three more U.S. classes in the future Clearly the Chinese and the PLAN are serious about their future naval capabilities in the China Sea and western Pacific and are rapidly building up across the board to implement them. This should be be reminiscent to our senior citizens who experienced it, or anyone who has studied history, of the rapid buildup of adversary military in the 1930s. We all know where that led.
Again, there can only be one power that the Red Chinese intend to, and must, confront if conflict over geo-political policy comes into play...and that is the U.S. Navy. Such tremendous development, building and launching of vessels indicate that they intend to do just that and their intentions, capabilities and funding in this regard cannot be underestimated.
Copyright © 2005, by Jeff Head
Jeff Head (jeffhead.com) is an engineering consultant who has many years of experience in the power, defense, and computer industries. He currently wotrks for the federal government helping maintain and protect regional infrastructure. He is a member of the U.S. Naval Institute, and he is also the author of a self-published and best-selling fictional series of military techno-thrillers about future military confrontation with the Red Chinese called the Dragon's Fury Series of novels (dragonsfuryseries.com) that projects a fictional third world war arising out of current events.
You can read about that series by clicking on the pictures of the novel covers below:
THE DRAGON'S FURY SERIES OF NOVELS
FYI...update to last year's article.
A bump to Jeff Head's continuing saga of China's ongoing build up.
Does anyone know if SEATO is a viable organization today? I'm sure it still exists, but had better be strengthened.
I pray we can avoid a looming conflict, but I fear we are already far down the road. We need, very soon IMHO, to begin treating the PRC just like Reagan did the Soviets. It will be harder at this point because the PRC has already amassed so much resource, technology and market...but it still can be done. In the end, that would be far cheaper than not doing so and allowing things to proceed according to their timetable towards their future attempts at hegonomy.
So once more will it be that 'Midway is East' and will the result be the same?
Goodness! You are either really fast Jeff or time is just spinning out of control.
Keep up the fantastic work!
Even if it existed,what would be it's use.Among it's members Pakistan is China's oldest arms buyer & ally,Thailand is increasing it's strategic relationship with the PRC while France & Britain plan to sell arms to it.SEATO was aimed at the USSR,not the PRC.
BTW,it got dissolved in 1977.
Type 93 nuclear fast attack Sub
Dont forget that buying up chinese goods directly funds this buildup
Awfully nice of us to finance our next major opponent by buying their crappy exports. Not to mention the damage done to American companies, no way to compete against what is almost slave labor.
What another commentator offers:
The PRC and Taiwan
With the war on terror and ongoing problems in Iraq, it's been easy to lose sight of Communist China. But the People's Republic has been busy since the United States toppled Saddam Hussein nearly two years ago. Last year, the PRC boosted defense spending by about 11 percent. In recent months, it has been quietly ratcheting up an aggressive posture toward Taiwan. Few in the United States notice because our attention is diverted elsewhere, but that doesn't mean the problem isn't there. Nor does it reduce the likelihood of conflict in the Straits of Taiwan.
The most recent illustration of the new Chinese bellicosity was last week's announcement that they will "crush" Taiwan if the latter formally declares independence from the mainland. As The Washington Times reported, China's annual defense review "National Defense in 2004" warns that China "will never allow anyone to split Taiwan from China through whatever means." It says U.S. military assistance to Taiwan "send a wrong signal to the Taiwan authorities" and "does not serve a stable situation across the Taiwan Strait." And it also says that if Taiwan declares independence, "the Chinese people and armed forces will resolutely and thoroughly crush it at any cost."
Secretary of State Colin Powell downplayed the significance of those statements. "I think everybody realizes that this is not the time to escalate tensions in the straits, and we hope that will continue to be the case," he said.
But the Chinese capability to follow through has never been better. Its 11 percent defense spending boost helped buy more Russian attack aircraft like the Su-30 strike fighter, a better space program including intelligence satellites, Russian Sovremennyy destroyers and other systems. The Pentagon's annual report on the PRC released in May details these and more, and concludes that "China's aspirations and efforts to achieve great power status have accelerated in recent years, especially the past two, as China's leaders have evinced a greater sense of confidence in the international arena." Two months after that report's release, the Washington Times reported that China is proving to have capabilities American intelligence didn't even know about. In July, it launched a new class of attack submarines that intelligence officials called a "technical surprise." So, the PRC's drive in recent years to build its military seems to have paid considerable dividends.
What does China plan to do with its new military heft? Clearly in part it hopes to send a message to the United States as we conduct operations in the Middle East and wage the war on terror. The Pentagon suggests a defensive rationale for the buildup. "China's leaders appear to have concluded that the net effect of the U.S.-led campaign has been further encirclement of China, especially by placing U.S. military forces in Central Asia, strengthening U.S. defense relations with Pakistan, India and Japan, and returning the U.S. military to Southeast Asia," the DoD report concludes. But China may also be seeking to enhance its position on Taiwan while the United States looks toward the Middle East. We hope the PRC's hostile posture is just that a posture but the recent trends suggest the possibility of something altogether different.
Love your tag line. And I agree with it (sad to say).
Australia, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States were the original signators.
Thank you, I shall...time sure does fly, but in this case, I am afraid that events are going to catch up to us if we are not very, very vigilant and wary.
SEATO has been defunct for a quarter of a century, basically because it couldn't deal with Vietnamese/Laos/Cambodia disasters.
'Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), alliance organized (1954) under the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty by representatives of Australia, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States. Established under Western auspices after the French withdrawal from Indochina, SEATO was created to oppose further Communist gains in Southeast Asia. The treaty was supplemented by a Pacific Charter, affirming the rights of Asian and Pacific peoples to equality and self-determination and setting forth goals of economic, social, and cultural cooperation between the member countries. The civil and military organizations established under the treaty had their headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand. SEATO relied on the military forces of member nations and joint maneuvers were held annually. SEATO's principal role was to sanction the U.S. presence in Vietnam, although France and Pakistan withheld support. Unable to intervene in Laos or Vietnam due to its rule of unanimity, the future of the organization was in doubt by 1973, and SEATO was ultimately disbanded in 1977.'
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2005, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The pointed statement to the United States by their great leader, as well as foreign minister, to 'stay out of the internal affairs of China, which includes the Taiwan issue', to be of great interest.
I saw that. I believe we are sending strong messages in the region to both N Korea and to China. But Guam is within range of Chinese and North Korean missiles so although it is a posture we need to take, and IMHO must take, it is not without risk.
Thanks for keeping an eye on this build up.
Also of note is Indias naval build up and Pakistans submarine capabilities
As the US strengthens ties with Pakistan,the commentator fails to realise China is also doing the same.IT's been going on for over 40 years & is still continuing.
Sell Taiwan AEGIS and the latest PATRIOT technology. Bring them under the Regional Missile Umbrella and pointedly inform the Chinese of this. If we in anyway give in on Taiwan and allow that free nation to go down, there will be a new leader emerging on the Western Rim and the impact of which way the Taiwan (ROC) issue goes will dtermine how the pendulum swings in the entire region IMHO.
Excellent point...we are at significant risk there. Reference the new deep water port the Chinese have constructed and will undoubtedly use for their new naval assets in Pakistan.
Watch your back.
India's naval buildup is aimed with one eye on the PRC esp with regard to it's aircraft carrier & N-sub programmes & a smaller one on it's proxy,Pakistan.You've probably not heard that Japan,Vietnam,Singapore & the US have all held regular exercises with the Indian navy over the past 5-6 years.
Always, always check six and keep the powder dry.
Thank you two for the information
Unfortunatley, the Chinese recently held similar exercises with them.
You are welcome.
...and trying to find something in Walmart NOT from China is worse than looking for a needle in a haystack. (not picking on Walmart, it is the same almost everywhere else too.)
There is a world of difference between Search & Rescue & the "Hello,how are you" sort of interactions that India,Australia & Great Britain have held with the PLAN & the more serious simulated conflict scenarios played out by the USN or the RSN with the Indian navy.
Do I have to??
Like Bill Getz .. Jeff scares me
Just kidding Jeff ;0)
BUMP to read later
L0L thats the truth!
I bought a chinese NORINCO Tokerev pistol recently but it was from a private party and no money from me went to China.
The Tokerev is no work of art but is strong dependable and accurrate.
It's not the first time that B-2s have deployed to Guam. 'Truth666' probably believes that 'Red Dawn' was real!
Calling all wal-mart shoppers;
Time to modernize and bring back the Iowa-class battleships. This would be a relatively inexpensive and yet effective strengthening of the Pacific fleet.
There has recently been an article here indicating that the Japanese are starting to re-evaluate the structure of their navy (JMSDF) and may be toward developing a true blue-water offensive capability (CVBGs, etc.). But then again, we hear that every spring...
Ive read that they are working on amphibious assault vessels,but the aircraft carrier aspect is still under discussion.My own guess is they will go in for small multi-role vessels which can deploy a handful of JSFs,in addition to helos.You will probably not see the JMSDF Having real carriers till after 2015.
Given our own ambivalence towards India and allowing the Soviets to help arm them while carrying on with Pakistan ourselves, we may be in danger of China succeeding in that goal.
Some very nice targets you got there.. especially the ships..
Check out this board:
Web site that displays anti-US sentiment. US Carriers also noted (negatively). Not good. They even quoted part of my commentary on an article I posted on FREEREP. 3/3. Their sentiments have a decidedly anti-US bluster/bravado and should be noted carefully, particularly if said comments include US CVBG. They don't seem to be a big fan of GW either.
Finished your book a few days ago.
No problem. It scares me too. That's why I am involved to the extent I am.
IF we sell out Taiwan to the Chicoms, THAT will be the DEFINING moment in the USA's decline as a superpower and China's ascendecy.
Ping for Jeff's update