The US will keep its huge navy to fight wars all over the world and remain world leader for 100 years as has been claimed by US president Obama. It will maintain a huge navy with 11 aircraft carriers, 14 ballistic missile nuclear submarines and 50 plus attack nuclear submarines.
China, on the other hand, has no intention whatsoever to become world leader or seek world hegemony. What interest will China have in maintaining an equal navy? Therefore, China will be no match to the US even in 50 years time.
Therefore, if the US maintains such a huge navy to be world leader for 100 years, China will never surpass the US.
In an interview, former PLA navy (PLAN) political commissar Admiral Liu Xiaogang said China would build six homegrown aircraft carriers. Current PLAN deputy political commissar Rear Admiral Ding Haichun, however, said nothing about that in the same interview.
PLAN, in its own interest, certainly wants to grow as huge as possible, but does China really need such a huge navy?
I believe that China has no intention to be world leader as the leadership means only a heavy burden without any benefit.
However, will China grow militarily stronger through its current arms race with the US?
Certainly, China will, as is detailed in Chan Kai Yee’s book “Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats the US.”
However, China began the arms race to surpass the US because of the US pivot to Asia aiming at joining Japan or rival South China Sea claimants in China’s maritime territorial disputes.
Hu Jintao had a strategy for wiping out the enemy at sea. Due to that strategy, China will soon acquire the capabilities to wipe out its enemy at sea by achieving air supremacy with its stealth fighter jets and saturation attack on an enemy navy with anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles.
Hu Jintao’s strategy is good, but China will be defeated by the US even if it wipes out the part of the US navy near its coast, because the US can easily cut China’s trade lifelines due to its navy’s dominance of the oceans.
What is the next strategy developed by Xi Jinping for China?
It is the strategy to build up China’s capabilities to defend China’s trade lifelines. For that Xi has urged the Chinese air force to acquire integrated space and air capabilities for both attack and defence. With such capabilities, China will be able to attack US fleets at high sea to prevent them from cutting China’s trade lifelines.
In Chan’s book, it is described how an aerospace bomber can kill an aircraft carrier battle group in minutes. Such an aerospace bomber will be one of the weapons in Xi’s integrated space and air capabilities for both attack and defence. When China has developed a fleet of aerospace bombers armed with hypersonic missiles, the US will no longer be able to cut China’s trade lifelines.
The missile from the bomber will fly at a hypersonic speed of Mach 23 that no missile defence so far can intercept.
As an alternative, China can develop a strategic nuclear bomber with the speed of Mach 3.6. With the bomber’s speed of Mach 3.6, a missile from it may have a hypersonic speed of Mach 7.6 if its own speed of Mach 4 (achievable now) is added to the speed of the bomber. That will ensure that 100 to 200 missiles from the bomber will be able to wipe out an entire aircraft carrier battle group.
Ukraine have developed a huge aircraft with a payload of 250 tons, and with China’s high temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactor, China may have such a bomber within a decade.
China develops such capabilities entirely aimed at defence against US attack, instead of replacing the US as world leader.
Therefore, Major General Yin’s prediction remains correct that China will not have the military capabilities to be a rival to the US even if China were able to defeat US attack.
China will not have thousands of nuclear warheads for first nuclear strike. China will not have a huge navy to dominate the world.
If Chinese leaders remain as wise as Xi Jinping, that will be the case even if China grows much stronger than the US economically.