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As US Navy shrinks, China launches more, better war ships

February 15, 2012 Comments off

gmanetwork.com

HONG KONG — As looming budget cuts force the Pentagon to plan for a smaller US navy, China is accelerating the launch of new, increasingly capable warships as part of a sustained drive to become a major maritime power.

Shanghai’s Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding Company late last month launched the fourth of China’s new 071 amphibious landing ships according to reports carried by Chinese military web sites and the state-controlled media.

While most attention has been drawn to the ongoing sea trials of China’s first aircraft carrier, military analysts say the expanding fleet of 20,000-ton landing ships, the biggest domestically designed and built vessels in the Chinese navy, delivers a far more immediate boost to Beijing’s global influence.

“Having a significant fleet of large amphibious assault vessels clearly suggests a desire for power projection,” says Christian Le Miere, a maritime security researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

“If you want the surgical insertion of forces, for a range of reasons, then you need amphibious response ships.”

Military rivalry

China’s naval buildup comes amid mounting Read more…