Friday, December 3, 2021

Can China Maintain And Afford Its Massive Navy?

A Chinese destroyer pulls into Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 2006. US Navy Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ben A. Gonzales  

Robert Farley, Insider/19fortyfive: China's navy buildup really is remarkable, but it may create a new set of headaches for Beijing 

* The rise of China's navy has truly been remarkable by any benchmark anyone could reasonably set. 

* It is now numerically the world's largest fleet, and while the US Navy outweighs it, US ships are older. 

* Maintaining those ships will be expensive, and history shows that building big fleets doesn't always pay off. 

The rise of China's navy (PLAN) has truly been remarkable by any benchmark anyone could reasonably set. Since the dawn of ironclad navies, the world has seen at least four major, massive naval expansions from negligible foundations.

In the years before World War I, both the US Navy and the Imperial German Navy expanded from nearly negligible foundations to build world-challenging fleets. At the end of World War II, the Soviet Navy experienced a similar rapid expansion, rising to meet Moscow's aspirations to global power.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Chinese are committed to growing and maintaining a large fleet, and I expect them to continue with this policy for the next decade.


Anonymous said...

There are historian(s), who have stated that Germany would have been bankrupt in the mid to late 1940s due to Hitler's military expenditures.

What if they know what they are expounding?

Can you see China going bankrupt and Xi sitting there meekly taking the blame? I can't.

Time to buy popcorn!

Anonymous said...

Navies are expensive, and traditionally the greatest naval powers are countries that don't have to maintain a large standing army to defend itself. They get by with a small army and put their money into their navy. That's why island powers like Great Britain could become the dominant European seapower - their rivals needed to maintain large armies to defend themselves from other continental land powers. The US became a great naval power because the US only bordered two countries, and its population massively outnumbered both. Since the US wasn't imperiled by Canada or Mexico, it could spend money on a large navy instead in the 20th century.

Most of China's neighbors are small countries that can't threaten them. And both Russia and India have geographic obstacles that prevent them from directly threatening China. But given China's size, centralized control. and repressive measures, it will likely never downsize its army to prioritize its navy. It needs its army to maintain control over its own people.

China will certainly be able to afford a capable navy, the question is at what size can be maintained without burdening its economy or cutting the budget for other things. Ultimately a navy is a luxury for China. It can be cut back whenever needed. It it essential for countries like Japan and the US who will always respond by increasing their own navies.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate Chris's points.

I have hard time seeing India projecting power from Assam into China. One must not assume it cannot happen. The Japanese hit Malaysia and moved south at a speed and with a force the British though unlikely or impossible. They also attacked Southern Burma through the jungle.

If India owned Bangladesh projecting power from India into Yunnan would be a real threat. But that is not the case. If India struck hard into Yunnan the Bangladeshis or Burmese could be hit the Indians in the rear and severe supply lines. The Bangladeshis could be tempted just because and both could prodded into by China for renumeration of some sort.

On the plus side for India is the insurgencies in Assam appear to be on their last legs.

I cannot see the Soviets projecting much power through the Trans Siberian Railroad. Or supply a spearhead via the railroad. Maybe they could do it via ship to Arctic ports and the by rail way heading south. I doubt such infrastructure exists.

The Uighur problem is not one. Not for the PRC. Given enough time another 5 to 20 years, there simply will not be a Uighur problem. I figure the Mongols are or will be sullen. No idea about the Huis.

Can we assume suppression of religion in China will cause unrest? The PRC can point to important EU rats like Helena Dalli and ask :IUS Christianity worth it or mean anything?". With Western leaders on a mission to destroy Christianity is fair to assume there will be religious unrest in China. I do know if you visit a temple in China there will be 2 or 3 minders. So far I have not heard of any Buddhist unrest. I could just be flat out wrong. If there is no significant religious unrest I guess it comes down to jobs, making ends meet and family.

Adam said...

This is more the type of article I come to this site for. Interesting stuff.