10 bases and 6 aircraft carriers of China

On the morning of April 26, China launched the first aircraft carrier of its own production. Before that, only one Liaoning aircraft carrier was built in the Chinese Navy, built on the basis of the Soviet cruiser Varyag. But according to the Chinese themselves, this is only the beginning. The plans include the creation of six carrier-based strike groups and ten naval bases around the world.

Xu Guangyu, retired major general and senior adviser to the Arms Control and Disarmament Association, last Friday on the pages of the Chinese Ministry of Defense’s newspaper PLA Daily said that China will build ten bases for its aircraft carriers, preferably in all continents of the world, but This will depend on China’s relations with different countries.

Six of the alleged carrier groups in addition to the aircraft carriers themselves will include shock submarines and destroyers with guided missiles. The blatant goal of creating carrier groups, according to PLA Daily, is to ensure the “breakthrough” of the Chinese fleet through the first chain of islands (Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines) and to establish China’s influence in the West Pacific.

Second and third aircraft carrier

The new Chinese aircraft carrier Type 001A should be put into operation in 2020, it is based on 28 to 36 Jian-15 fighters (J-15). The aircraft carrier has not yet received a name and passes under the name CV-17. The construction of this aircraft carrier took only two years. For comparison, the former “Varyag” was bought in 1998, but in the system he got up only in 2012.

Western analysts note this fact that China has significantly accelerated the construction of ships, and the construction of the largest military ship in the history of the country gives invaluable industrial experience. Despite the fact that the new CV-17 is very similar to the “Liaoning”, there is nothing to worry about. The same aircraft carriers of the “Nimitz” type are built on the same model for 40 years, but this allows the shipbuilding industry to make a step forward and enter new classes of ships. Descent of the second aircraft carrier is considered as the most important industrial and military milestone for China

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At the same time, Western experts note that CV-17 can not yet become the core of an aircraft carrier strike group, since it lacks the appropriate range of autonomous operations, depends on ground-based reconnaissance aircraft (unable to launch aircraft with an early warning system) and carries Too few planes.

Meanwhile, Shanghai is working on the creation of the third Chinese aircraft carrier, Type 002, which may be atomic and will be more like the American development of aircraft carriers such as Gerald Ford, rather than Soviet models.

CV-17 can eventually become an excellent training base for the transition to the creation of a real carrier-based strike group as soon as the third Chinese aircraft carrier enters service.

Base in Djibouti

As for the ten bases, so far with a stretch of the only foreign Chinese naval base, or “support point”, one can name the facilities in Djibouti in East Africa. A year ago, the Chinese Ministry of Defense confirmed that it is building in Djibouti, and for the first time China used Djibouti during the evacuation of its citizens from Yemen in the spring of 2015, after which it began negotiations on a permanent presence.

Chinese military experts say that although soldiers will be deployed on the base, it will still differ from the neighbors in Djibouti, the military bases of France and the United States. First and foremost, the Chinese base will serve as a point of service for China’s ships in the region, and will also keep a hand on the pulse of navigation through the Suez Canal. However, it will also support operations of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean and react more quickly to events in North Africa and the Middle East.

Shen Dingli, a professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, said that the US developed its business around the world and sent its military to protect its interests for 150 years, China will now do what the US has done in the past.

Other bases in theory

Before the establishment of a base in Djibouti, the Chinese Navy used Port Victoria in the Seychelles to refuel ships and rest seamen, as did the navies of other countries. However, in this case, China went further and gave the coastal guard Seychelles a patrol boat as a token of gratitude for the reception of Chinese warships.

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Today, China participates in commercial infrastructure projects in the port of Gwadar in Pakistan on the coast of the Arabian Sea and the port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka. And although the projects are commercial, in the same Gwadar, China offers the Pakistani forces of the Chinese military to ensure the security of the port. About the possible creation of the naval base of China in Guadar, says Xu Guangyu.

In 2014, Chinese submarines moored at the port of Colombo in Sri Lanka. At the same time, they did it in a container terminal belonging to a Chinese commercial company, and not in the usual place of mooring of naval ships of other countries of the world.

In the Maldives, China, within the framework of the concept of the “Sea Silk Road of the XXI century”, invests in the infrastructure port project iHavan. It is expected that the Maldives will not be able to pay huge loans to China and in fact all the facilities in the future will control China, both commercially and in the military, if necessary.

That is, in theory, using economic pressure, China can deploy its coastal infrastructure on the basis of Chinese commercial assets in other countries, without necessarily resorting to the already existing foreign port services used by the navies of other countries.

It should be noted that rumors about the plans of China to build 18 naval bases around the world ocean have been circulating for many years, at least since 2014. At one time, the Xinhua Agency recommended the establishment of bases in such ports as Chongjin (North Korea), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Sihanoukville (Cambodia), Ko Lanta (Thailand), Sittwe (Myanmar), Djibouti Maldives, Seychelles, Gwadar (Pakistan), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Lagos (Nigeria), Hambantota (Sri Lanka), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Mombasa (Kenya), Luanda (Angola), Walvis Bay (Namibia ), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).

Few people believe that China will be able to gain a foothold in these points and even more so to open bases there, but it can be recalled that in 2014 no one believed in the Chinese base in Djibouti. Nevertheless, today this is already a reality.

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