According to local media, China is “exponentially” increasing its warship capability and has reportedly resumed mass production of guided-missile destroyers.
The Chinese Communist Party-controlled Global Times reported on Tuesday that China’s military expansion and modernization would be completed by 2035, “including the development of a blue-water navy, to match the country’s international status and better defend its interests”.
A blue-water navy is one that operates globally and traverses deep oceans.
According to Naval News, five type 052D destroyers capable of launching long-range missiles are being built, as reported by The Guardian.
China’s military expansion is “deeply concerning,” according to John Blaxland, professor of international security and intelligence studies at the Australian National University’s strategic and defence studies centre.
“When you look at capability it is growing exponentially,” he said.
“It’s going from being a brown-water navy designed for close protection of China’s shores to a true blue-water navy.
“They are designed to assert China’s influence to match its economic growth, not just in the South China Sea, not just in the first island chain [which includes Taiwan], but also more expansively through the Indo Pacific and the Pacific Ocean.
“It’s growing the navy to bolster its economic heft with military muscle.”
According to new modeling from a US think tank, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will dominate the region with a range of lethal warships and submarines by 2031, according to The Guardian.
According to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, “the PLA may have sufficient resources to boast five aircraft carriers and over 60 cruisers and destroyers,” as well as a new submarine fleet, in less than a decade.
Teams of national security experts used a simulation of China’s $300 billion defense budget to predict what Beijing would do as part of the modeling.
According to The Guardian, the consensus was that China, with enough resources for expanded sea and air capability, would become a global military threat beyond the current saber-rattling about Taiwan.