(VitalNews.org) – The US Secretary of the Navy is warning that China is ahead of the US in producing warships, and American dominance of the seas is going to suffer.
Secretary Carolos Del Toro said, “it’s no secret” that China wants to displace the US to become the leading military force at sea, and they’re making progress. With more than 100 new warships in their fleet, Del Toro said, the US has to take China’s aggressive posturing seriously.
The issue is one of values, Del Toro said. Chinese Communist values don’t fit American ideas of individual freedom, human rights, and representative government, said the Navy Secretary. He added that the clash of values extends to international maritime laws and norms and is not a problem restricted to the Taiwan Straits.
In February alone, the US Navy and the Marine Corps detected almost two dozen Chinese military planes and ships around Taiwan during US exercises in the South China sea.
Secretary Del Toro compared the size of the US fleet to that of China to illustrate the problem. He said the US has less than 300 military ships, while China has about 340. That number may swell to 400 in the future.
The US Navy plans for 350 ships by 2045, but that number will likely fall well short of China’s expected fleet size. Navy Secretary Del Toro said China plans to have 100 new ships by 2030.
Meanwhile, the US Congressional Budget Office reported in November 2022 that the US fleet is expected to keep shrinking as the military decommissions old and obsolete vessels.
Recent reports from the US Department of Defense indicate that China is building corvettes, cruisers, and destroyers that will seriously improve China’s military capability and the threat that it poses to the international order.
While the US Navy continually works to update its ship designs and technology, some of this work has stalled when new and unproven technologies turn out not to work well together.
Copyright 2023, VitalNews.org