Red Chinese Seapower
Increasing Threat to USA
Remarks of Jim Logue
Executive Director, United States Intelligence Council
at the Freedom Leadership Conference, Nov. 11, 2011
On August 9th an little publicized event took place. China put it’s first ever carrier to sea. Although it has no weapons, defensive systems or planes this sea trail marked an troubling event for the world. Other then those likes myself who have been following this trend for years much of the world was shocked when they awoke to this.
This was not all that surprising to me. This ship a never completed Russian Aircraft carrier was supposed bought to be converted a floating casino at Maccua. However, no sane individual would purchase a ship that would take years to float to the site. Not to mention the fact that the harbour in Macca is too swallow for the ship to fit into.
China has long avoided developing an carrier believing that with their large land army they were safe from invasion and that their land based aircraft could handle any problems arising from tawain.
In recent years they have been more active on the International stage and as the only permanent member of the UN Security Council without a carrier their ability to project their influence is reduced.
Several of their neighbors in Asian namely Japan, Thailand and Indian all have developed and deployed carriers. Outside of the Security Council, and two western European countries they are the only ones that posses them. China has been aggressively confronting these counties ships and personal and having an carrier group is the next logical step.
With a carrier group China could also challenge the shipping lanes and project themselves farter out to sea hindering the ability of the US to intervene in any regional conflict.
But floating an Aircraft Carrier out of port is not an alarming factor by itself. For a Carrier to be successful it needs to deploy a whole host of military hardware in a Carrier Group. These include pilots with the skill and experience to take off from a carrier and land as well as being able to conduct Combat Air patrols. Having a Carrier that can work in tandem with an entire fleet of ships including Submarines, Destroyers, Cruisers, and Oil Riggers as well as other ships and hardware such as new fighters, bombers, and UAW Drones.
This will take years to develop from strach but it appears that China is rapidity developing the needed technologies. They are conducting naval exercises, deploying ships in fleet formation as well as attempting to develop new fighters and bombers.
Late last year the first confirmed photos were leaked of the long rumored Chengdu J-20 Stealth fighter. This next generation fighter is rumored to be the rival of the F-22 that the US has been working on for over ten years. The only difference is that the J-20 is supposed to have the ability to carry more ordinance then the F-22.
Since the US has drastically scaled back the number of fighters that it has ordered the United States could for the first time in over fifty years of air superiorly lose that advantage in the next 20 years if we are not careful.
As we have all seen for recent military operations conducted by the US armed forces our control of the skies is the leading factor in our successful competition of these operations without an alarming large number of causalities.
China currently has the largest Submarine force in Asian with ten nuclear power submarines and over fifty conventional submarines. They also have about 2 dozen modern destroyers along with numerous older cold war era destroyers and frigates.
The PLAN has also recently begun testing on a series of amphibious assault vessels. Ships that is capable of launching a series of rotary wing helicopters as well as some fixed wing planes. These are critical in an fleet. Helicopters are vital in conducting anti-submarine warfare as well as launching marine landings against Taiwan and other sites.
Luckily for Taiwan the PLAN at the moment only has enough ships to deploy one army division to the island at any time. However they plan on fixing this problem in short order. The plan in place is to use the Chinese Merchant Fleet to conduct landings and troop supply with merchant and roll on/ roll off ships.
Red China is slowly building up their assault fleet by helping Cosco and other so called Red China independent fleets build up the number of ships that they have at their disposal. These very ships that the US is helping develop to ferry supplies across the seas will be the same ones that will carry the troops across the Taiwan Straight to meet American boys and girls.
During the next 10-15 years it is expected that they will replace all of these older ships with more modern state of the art vessels. This will give them a large combat fleet to support their carriers.
Last May Chinese Naval Commandoes sabotaged several Vietnamese Oil Exploration Vessels in direct violation of International Law. This blatant attack on a sovereign nation was just the warm up act.
Two months later in July a Indian Naval Ship the INS Airavat was finishing up a goodwill visit to Vietnam and was traveling in International Waters when they were challenged by forces of the Chinese Navy demanding that they ID themselves and claiming that International Waters were the property of the Chinese government.
This dramatic assault to the naval forces of two different countries that hold vital positions in the region constitutes an alarming new challenge in the region.
Late last June the Chinese should that they are not only planning and developing the basic requirements of a blue water navy but are also seeking to develop a long term naval and military capability of conducting active offensive operations.
China began conducting a series of dangerous naval operations sending almost a dozen warships right in between two Japanese Islands conducting target practice that had shells landing close to the shore of Japan. During these attacks Japanese Intelligence photographed the PLAN deploying a brand new never before seen Unmanned Ariel Drone.
UP until this date China had never been able to develop UAV’s. For many years’ Red China has been unable to develop the robotic electronics needed on a small enough scale to construct their own Drones. By overcoming this problem China has taken a leap forward in developing next generation military hardware that can be used against American and Allied forces.
Much like the Predator drones that the US has famously deployed in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. Although these drones are still in the early stages when they become fully operational it will massively increase the range and the options for Red China’s military to launch attacks, forward observation and intelligence operations. This is an especially critical need for China due to the lack of Spy Satellites at their displosive.
China is also thought to have created a next generation carrier killer missile that is capable of launching attacks against US carriers up to 1,000 miles at sea. These missiles carry a massive payload that is able to sink a US carrier as well as travel at speeds fast enough to avoid detection from us forces until it is too late. With this at their disposal the US Navy will be required to rethink their entire game plan for the Taiwan Area of Operations. Potentially removing our naval forces from action in event of a war.
This is a clear cut sign that Red China’s plan is not only to develop a Blue water navy for their own national diplomatic interests but to actively take on the US armed forces.
If one needed any more proof of the plan for their new fleet you can take it for the rumored name for their new carrier. It is named after the 17th century Chinese Admiral who invaded Taiwan. If you needed any more proof of their intent you have it with that.
In closing the end of the cold war brought about a sense of compliancy with the United States government. With the seemingly easy victories in the two Persian gulf Wars, the war on terror as well as recent attacks in Libya many government officials believe that we have no equal in military affairs and that we can relax our Defense spending. China may construct as many as 8 or 9 carrier groups. It was not that long ago that the US Navy had 15 carrier groups. We are now down to 11 and there are talks of the Navy reducing that even more.
China can run its military on the same level as the US for less money due to the smaller wages and costs associated with it then the US is able to pay combine this with the stronger Chinese economy and the growing gap between the US and China grows even deeper.
China already has the world’s largest army and the only thing that has been holding them back is the lack of a viable air and naval force. With the rapid development of new fighters that can overwhelm us forces, missiles that can take our carriers out of play and a naval force that could rival that of the United States Navy we could be seeing an situation in the near future that in which the US influence in the region and the world at large has dimished to the point where we are unable to be a leader in world affairs and protect the needs and safety of the American people. Without rapid course adjustments by the Defense Department the actions of all of our Naval leaders from when John Barry father of the American Navy began the steps to build the world’s greatest naval force could be destroyed within a matter of 2 decades.
Thank you and good night