Saturday, February 19, 2005
China and Our Navy
President Bush's plan for the Navy calls for buying fewer ships, while China, a potential security hot spot, is increasing and repositioning its fleet.Some are very concerned, including Sen. Trent Lott (Miss.) and Sen. Susan Collins (Maine). Both senators come from shipbuilding states. Then I see this article (hat tip Free Republic) from Global Politician: China’s Shipbuilding Industry: An Emerging Threat to U.S. National Security?
China is experiencing the greatest national expansion of its shipbuilding industry in the country’s maritime history, with growth expected to continue well into the next decade.Frankly, I'm worried. In China, we have a country that is emerging as the next Superpower, wants to consolidate its hold on its traditional territory (Taiwan); I suspect, remembers that we talked openly about "nuking" them to support Taiwan; is engaged in a furious competition for raw materials with the US to fuel their economy, has at least 25,000 spies in this country, and has nuclear weapons and a growing capability to deliver them. We say we are at war, but as I said here it doesn't look like we are, and we are in woeful shape financially, with our twin deficits. Either we are going to increase military spending big time soon, or we will be coming from behind again as we did after Pearl Harbor.
Coinciding with the growth of the Chinese shipbuilding industry has been a precipitous decrease in the number of available U.S. Navy surface ships. The number of U.S. Navy ships has declined from a total of 594 in 1987 to 289 in 2004 -- the smallest U.S. Navy since 1917.