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Iran Press TV

New advanced Chinese warships challenging US Navy edge

Iran Press TV

Wed Feb 5, 2014 2:24PM GMT

The United States Navy is concerned about China's military plans as Beijing is accelerating the construction of a second aircraft carrier, military experts say.

"For decades, the US Navy has controlled the world's waterways, in both size and strength. But China appears to be preparing to challenge US supremacy by accelerating the construction of a second aircraft carrier," Stars and Stripes said in a report on Tuesday.

According to US naval commanders, China is building a "blue-water navy" capable of sustained operations across oceans and projecting power far from home.

Last month, Beijing announced its plans for building several more warships after it launched its first aircraft carrier, Liaoning in Dalian, two years ago.

The US Department of Defense said in a report to Congress last year that China will "likely build multiple aircraft carriers over the next decade. The first Chinese-built carrier will likely be operational sometime in the second half of this decade."

In January, commander of US Pacific Command Admiral Samuel Locklear discussed China's military empowerment.

"Our relative dominance in… technologies and… weapons systems will have diminished over time," Locklear said. "That's not something to be afraid of; it's just to be pragmatic about it."

Jan Van Tol, a retired US Navy captain who is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, DC, said more Chinese carriers will have an impact even if they are far less capable than US ships.

"Military professionals will know the difference, but other important audiences may not, and could credit … ships with having far more capability and combat utility than they actually would have in combat," he said.

Some experts said Chinese warships won't be able to compete with the US behemoths like the Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan-bound USS Ronald Reagan any time soon.

"A single aircraft carrier, with limited range aircraft and little blue water experience, hardly makes China a major sea power, but people are already reacting to the shadow rather than the little guy behind the screen," Ralph Cossa, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said.

The United States military has for several years expressed concern that Washington might be losing its military superiority in areas such as fighter jets, missile systems and cyber warfare in the coming years.

AGB/HJ



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