Re: Chinese Carriers Again
- From: Andrew Swallow <am.swallow@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2008 20:14:04 +0000
Fred J. McCall wrote:
> In this case Wee Willie has got it right. If you want to be a real
> power you need to be able to project power away from your homeland.
> Doing that means a strong blue water navy.
So first the big strategic question is "Does China want to be a world
power or is it happy continuing its traditional role of being an enormous
Since Asia is a landmass a Chinese carrier would be fighting out side of
Asia. Big ships are not the best weapons for fighting a land war with
Mongolia or ex-USSR states. Next big question "What does China hope to
gain from fighting out side of Asia?"
Followed by "Does this fighting need an aircraft carrier?"
Land basses are harder to sink and far more in tune with the Chinese
> To be even a regional power, China needs to be able to project power.
> To do that without sea-based air power means assuming that the United
> States and India just stay home. India wants to be the regional power
> in the Indian Ocean and to that end is building a fleet air arm and
> the ability to project her troops. The United States is still the
> predominant power projector in the Pacific.
> If China wants to get out of her own back yard she needs to counter
> those two.
Next question "Is China planning wars of world conquest or just
A machine designed to attack New York and London will make the Europeans
and Americans very suspicious. Making them anti-Chinese may not
be in China's interests.
If the carrier is meant to bomb Bombay could an airfield in Africa
be used instead?
Is the carrier's job to guard the trade routes?
The sea going equivalent of guarding the Silk Road.
China to Japan and China to Taiwan are relatively short journeys so air cover
can be provided from air fields inside China.
China to North America and South America. These routes go across the
Pacific Ocean. If China goes to war with the USA there will be no
trade with North America so you do not have to worry about guarding
those sea lanes. Although the Japanese Navy could get in the way.
The routes to South America could be kept open but the Chinese Navy
would be fighting the US Navy.
Asian sea ports - India, Iran (oil), Yemen, Vietnam and Indonesia.
These are countries sufficiently near the homeland that China will
get into disputes with them. Careful choice of ship types and land
bases is required. Do you need aircraft carriers or destroyers?
China to East Africa. There are land routes through Iran and the
ex-USSR. Pipe lines, roads and railways are relatively hard for the
West and India to attack but terrorists and bandits can. (See history
of Silk Road.) The sea routes go from Hong Kong past Singapore or north
of Australia and across the Indian Ocean. There are few islands in the
Indian Ocean so the air fields would have to be in Africa, assuming
that the locals can be trusted. Merchant ships can be protected in
war time by using convoys - see the history of the British Empire.
China to Europe and Atlantic Ocean countries. There are 5 routes to
Europe. Land by the modern Silk Road, the roads and railways may need
repairing also these pass through countries that do not like China.
Sea routes - Suez Canal, Panama Canal, around southern africa or
around southern america. Would an aircraft carrier be useful in
keeping these sea lanes open in time of war?
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