With the Chinese heating up their rhetoric as it pertains to their claims for ownership of Taiwan, their recent pact with the Russians, and their support of their neighbor North Korea, they have been making themselves quite a concern for the U.S. As they expand their naval forces, they are consistently testing the waters for their military capabilities as well as what they can accomplish in the years to come.
One of these tests has been with their latest aircraft carrier, the Fujian. This 80,000-ton behemoth of a water-borne war machine would be the crown jewel in the crown of any government. While it has been seen and set to sail at its formal launch, it will take years to become not only fully operational but to be considered battle-ready.
Currently, there are four other ships that the U.S. and others should be much more concerned about.
First is the Type 055 Destroyer. A 13,000-ton guided-missile destroyer, this ship is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous and deadly ships on the waters today. Considered a cruiser by NATO standards, their 112 vertical launch tubes are capable of firing anti-ship missiles, long-range attack missiles, and everything in between.
Back in 2018, RAND Corp. senior analyst Timothy Heath claimed “This ship, in particular, has a sophisticated design, stealth features, radars, and a large missile inventory. It is larger and more powerful than most U.S., Japanese, and South Korean destroyers.” This statement followed China launching two of these ships on a single day.
The Type 039 Submarine is the next concern. These nearly silent diesel submarines are lethal in their design. With no need to frequently surface to get air and keep the engines running, these deep divers are widely considered to be an incredibly stealthy design. Their navigation and weapons capabilities are enough to make positioning themselves for an attack where there is little that can be done until it is too late is remarkable. With some U.S. ships already showing signs of problems with anti-submarine detection, this could give them a big advantage.
Oddly enough, their merchant ferries are another grave concern. While they aren’t what most think of when they describe naval warfare, they are a crucial component of taking a landing on an island or the coast of another nation. Given their provocations with Taiwan, and the U.S.’s inconsistent stance on our relations with the tiny nation, this could play a massive role in their attacks should they decide to invade. Currently, they lack the military fleet to perform such a landing, but their civilian forces are strong and could be easily taken for that use.
Finally, their maritime militia. Again, another class you don’t think of when describing going to war on water. However, the vast number of fishing vessels China has at sea at any given time could be a huge advantage. Many nations have been known to sneak their military around under the guise of being nothing more than groups of civilians, only to attack once the time is right. Given the rules as they pertain to civilians and maritime operations, these ships could easily be used to lure the U.S. or any other nation into a false sense of security.
Overall, these four series of ships pose a great threat to the U.S. and other nations. The ever-increasing capabilities of China are not to be overlooked. Despite the message from the left that we don’t need to have such a strong or well-funded military, this proved that nothing could be further from the truth.
As history has shown, those who ignore the growth and advancement of their enemies are subject to paying the price for their arrogance. We do not need to risk our peril just to keep the left happy, instead, we need to go against them to keep all of us safe.