Issue no 2: PLA Navy@73, India-China: WTC's Political Commissar, Cyber Attacks @ Ladakh, PRC Nuke
Updated: May 9, 2022
I. Interesting Story this Month: The PLA Navy @ 73
The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) celebrated 73 years of formation on April 23. Formed at Baima (白马, baima), a town under the administration of Gaogang District in Jiangsu province of China, the PLAN has today become the world’s largest navy in numerical terms surpassing the US by 350 to 297. Notably, it was only a 255-ship force in 2015 before China went on a spree of building naval vessels. The Centre for Strategic and International Studies China Power initiative highlights that between 2014 and 2018, China launched more submarines, warships, amphibious vessels and auxiliaries than the number of ships currently serving in the individual navies of Germany, India, Spain and the United Kingdom. For instance, 18 ships were commissioned by China in 2016 alone, and at least another 14 were added in 2017. By comparison, the US Navy commissioned only five ships in 2016 and eight ships in 2017. The US intelligence estimates that the PLAN would be fielding around 400 vessels by 2025 and about 425 battleships by 2030 if it continues at the same rate.
However, I personally think that the rate has slowed down. How and why at the end of this section!
Beijing marked its 73rd anniversary by releasing video footage of amphibious assault landings and island-control exercises involving marines and other special fighting units. Several clips have been broadcast this week, coinciding with China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe telling his American counterpart Lloyd Austin in a phone call on Wednesday not to underestimate Beijing’s determination or ability to defend its national interests and dignity over the Taiwan issue. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that the state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) video depicted at least a dozen ZTD-05 amphibious assault vehicles sending marines to attack a simulated enemy base during a recent island seizure drill. Airborne troops landed on the island from Z-8 transport helicopters soon after the marines wiped out all key military assets.