China’s Navy Makes Strides, Work Remains To Be Done

Defense News – It’s no secret that China has embarked on a major modernization and expansion plan for its Navy, and its aggressive building program, coupled with the placing in service of more modern submarines, an aircraft carrier, destroyers with ever-sophisticated sensors and a large number of long-range surface-to-surface missiles, is altering politics and strategies throughout the Asian theater. What is not so clear is what sort of fleet the Chinese are building toward, and how far their industrial capability can take them.

Never Surrender the Language

Real Clear Defense – My entreaty to American diplomats and naval leaders is this: yield nothing to China in the South China Sea. Do not compromise on surveillance flights, underwater surveys, or any other part of the law of the sea for the sake of amity with Beijing. Freedom of the sea is indivisible. Let some of it go and the rest is apt to follow. By contrast, exercising high-seas freedoms to the maximum extent lawful represents a statement—backed by steel—that no coastal state may annul or modify basic principles underlying the liberal maritime order.

China’s Next Move: A Naval Base in the South Atlantic?

RealClearDefense – In Jan. 2015, The Namibian reported the existence of a “confidential letter from Namibia’s ambassador to China, Ringo Abed, to Namibia’s foreign minister stat[ing] that ‘a [Chinese] delegation will visit Namibia … for discussions … on the way forward regarding plans for the proposed naval base in Walvis Bay’.”

Ballistic Bombast

Aviation Week – China may be able to take out an American aircraft carrier with its feared DF-21 antiship ballistic missile (ASBM) without even taking a shot. Now some powerful people in DC are looking to reduce the fleet by a carrier or two in the belief that the DF-21 will make it too dangerous for the ships even to get close to Chinese territorial waters.

When Eagle Meets Dragon: Managing Risk in Maritime East Asia

Real Clear Defense – On 19 August 2014 a U.S. Navy (USN) P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft was flying in international airspace above the Chinese exclusive economic zone (EEZ) ~135 miles east of Hainan Island in the South China Sea when a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) armed J-11 fighter intercepted it. In a series of maneuvers that came within 30 feet of the P-8, the J-11 exposed its weapons load out and conducted a barrel roll over the U.S. aircraft, passing within 45 feet of the U.S. aircraft. While the incident ended without a collision or harm to the aircrew, it invoked memories of another that did not end as well—the April 2001 collision between a USN EP-3 and a PLAN J-8 in which the Chinese pilot perished.

Confirmed: China Deploys New ‘Carrier Killer’ Missile

The Diplomat – The most striking revelation of the 2015 ONI report is that the PLAN has apparently already equipped a class of guided missile destroyers with China’s most advanced supersonic anti-ship missile. “[T]he newest class, the LUYANG III destroyer is fitted with the new vertically-launched YJ-18 ASCM,” the report says.

China’s Naval Modernization: The Implications of Seapower

World Politics Review – After years of invitations that Beijing did not accept, coupled with last year’s cancellation of the event due to sequestration, the head of China’s navy, Adm. Wu Shengli, led a nine-officer delegation to this year’s International Seapower Symposium. Participants in the plenary and regional breakout sessions no doubt wondered who exactly Wu is, what mandate he has, what sort of navy he leads, where it is heading and how it will be interacting with the U.S. Navy. This article addresses these timely questions.