China is projected to have the world’s largest navy in the next 10 to 15 years, according to a United States-based military forum.
An article written for the United States Naval Institute (USNI) by retired US Navy Rear Admiral Michael McDevit declared that the US Navy remains a dominant naval force on the global stage – but China is fast catching up.
The article cited China’s current behavior in building up the blue water capability of its navy.
“It is difficult to appreciate just how fast China has been able to create a blue water navy. One way is to compare it to the other great navies of the world,” McDevit wrote. At the pace Beijing is going, it may have the world’s largest naval power within 10 to 15 years, he said in the USNI’s latest monthly publication.
USNI is an Indiannapolis-based private, non-profit, professional military association that seeks to offer independent, nonpartisan forum for debate of national defense and security issues.
View from Phl ::
Meanwhile, a senior security official in the Philippines noted that alongside its ongoing naval buildup, China is already projecting naval dominance against smaller maritime nations within the Indo-Pacific region.
The security official, who used to head a military unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) directly engaged in the country’s maritime and territorial monitoring, admitted that China’s naval presence in the South China Sea appeared to be irreversible.
“China’s Navy, Coast Guard and maritime militia ships are almost all over the South China Sea. What is only keeping them from gobbling up the entire South China Sea is the constant presence of US Navy ships in the hotly disputed region,” the source told The STAR.
He said that while claimant-states to part of the Spratly Islands – including the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam – are determined to protect their respective occupied outposts in the South China Sea, all their forces combined will have no chance against China.
For now, he said what only keeps Beijing from enforcing its plan to totally dominate the entire South China Sea — from the territorial waters of Indonesia up to Taiwan Strait – is the US Navy’s regular Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) and overflights in the disputed region.
Late last month two USN research and survey ships – USN Victorious (T-AGOS 19) and USN Loyal (T-AGOS 22) – conducted joint operations in the South China Sea, particularly in the international waters located between Panatag Shoal and Hainan province of China.
China’s advantage ::
The Filipino security official’s view is shared by USNI, which stated that Chinese warships are homeported in East Asia, providing clear advantage over most of the US Navy anchored thousands of miles away.