|Yesterday, Eric Margolis wrote for the most succinct article yet on China’s growing naval capabilities and the threat they post to the US. From the Huffington Post:
Over the past decade, China has been slowly building the capability to force the US Navy away from its coasts and deep in the Pacific. Beijing was horrified and mortified when during the 1996 Taiwan crisis, a US battle group led by the carrier “Nimitz” boldly sailed down the Taiwan Strait almost within sight of mainland China.
Imagine if a Chinese naval battle group sailed off New York’s Long Island, into the Florida Strait off Cuba, or in the Gulf of Mexico? The US would erupt in fury. But this is what the US Navy has been doing off China for half a century.
Now, Beijing’ new anti-ship missiles are putting US carrier battle groups at grave risk if they come too close to the mainland. This writer has observed numerous naval simulation war games and can attest that no surface vessels, particularly not huge carriers, can withstand barrages of high-speed anti-ship missiles fired from 360 degrees. Some will eventually leak through the US Navy’s layered defenses.
Nothing occurs in a vacuum here on Earth, and that is equally true of security matters. While it is easy to call China out for seemingly drawing the US into an arms race, we must also consider the Chinese perspective. That won’t stop the problem, but it will give both sides a chance at amelioration, dialogue and détente. The US and China are antagonistic partners now, but China is clearly hoping that it can defend ‘its’ shores, and unfortunately for the US that includes Taiwan, and for Japan, the Senkaku islands.