Wednesday, May 5, 2010

China Expands Navy to Protect Oil Supply routes

Chinese Military Seeks to Extend Its Naval Power
Some excerpts below, read the entire piece at above link.

YALONG BAY, China — The Chinese military is seeking to project naval power well beyond the Chinese coast, from the oil ports of the Middle East to the shipping lanes of the Pacific.

The strategy is a sharp break from the traditional, narrower doctrine of preparing for war over the self-governing island of Taiwan or defending the Chinese coast. Now, Chinese admirals say they want warships to escort commercial vessels that are crucial to the country’s economy, from as far as the Persian Gulf to the Strait of Malacca, in Southeast Asia, and to help secure Chinese interests in the resource-rich South and East China Seas.

The naval expansion will not make China a serious rival to American naval hegemony in the near future, and there are few indications that China has aggressive intentions toward the United States or other countries.

But China, now the world’s leading exporter and a giant buyer of oil and other natural resources, is also no longer content to trust the security of sea lanes to the Americans, and its definition of its own core interests has expanded along with its economic clout.

China is also pressing the United States to heed its claims in the region. In March, Chinese officials told two visiting senior Obama administration officials, Jeffrey A. Bader and James B. Steinberg, that China would not tolerate any interference in the South China Sea, now part of China’s “core interest” of sovereignty.

Another element of the Chinese Navy’s new strategy is to extend its operational reach beyond the South China Sea and the Philippines to what is known as the “second island chain” — rocks and atolls out in the Pacific, the official said. That zone significantly overlaps the United States Navy’s area of supremacy.

Japan is anxious, too. Its defense minister, Toshimi Kitazawa, said in mid-April that two Chinese submarines and eight destroyers were spotted on April 10 heading between two Japanese islands en route to the Pacific, the first time such a large Chinese flotilla had been seen so close to Japan. When two Japanese destroyers began following the Chinese ships, a Chinese helicopter flew within 300 feet of one of the destroyers, the Japanese Defense Ministry said.

Since December 2008, China has maintained three ships in the Gulf of Aden to contribute to international antipiracy patrols, the first deployment of the Chinese Navy beyond the Pacific.

(The Piracy 'issue', has never been what is seemed, or what the masses were told)

Recall this incident?

American vessels now frequently survey the submarine base at Hainan island, and that activity leads to occasional friction with Chinese ships. A survey mission last year by an American naval ship, the Impeccable, resulted in what Pentagon officials said was harassment by Chinese fishing vessels; the Chinese government said it had the right to block surveillance in those waters because they are an “exclusive economic zone” of China.
Odd, the Pentagon claims harassment when their spying on China?

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