Last update 7/6/2011 11:00:00 AM (GMT+7)

China's navy goal seen as displacing US influence in Pacific

VietNamNet Bridge - The U.S. Congressional Research Service has identified one of the Chinese government's goals of its military modernization effort as "displacing U.S. influence in the Pacific."

The research arm of the U.S. Congress says in a report dated June 8 that the Chinese military is trying to obtain capabilities to prevent U.S. armed forces from approaching areas surrounding China, including military equipment to attack U.S. air bases in the western Pacific.

The report, entitled "China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Naval Capabilities -- Background and Issues for Congress," says in its opening statement, "The question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort...has emerged as a key issue in U.S. defense planning."

It spotlights the reality that Japan, home to a number of U.S. military bases, could be greatly affected by developments in U.S.-China relations as China stiffens its hard-line posture in connection with its maritime interests.

The report says the goals of China's military modernization effort include "displacing U.S. influence in the Pacific and asserting its status as a major world power."

But "the near-term focus" of China's military modernization effort has been to "develop military options for addressing the situation with Taiwan," it warns.

China wants its armed forces to obtain capabilities to deter U.S. intervention in the event of a Taiwanese contingency and "delay the arrival or reducing the effectiveness of intervening U.S. naval and air forces," it says.

To achieve the goals, China is pressing ahead with programs to develop antiship ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as land attack cruise missiles capable of assaulting U.S. air bases and other installations in the Western Pacific, it says.

The modernization effort has, as one of its additional goals, "asserting or defending China's territorial claims in the South China Sea (East Sea) and East China Sea -- claims that overlap with those of other countries," according to the report.

"For countering Chinese maritime military capabilities in coming years," it calls on the United States to develop antiship cruise missiles and attack nuclear submarines, although the country has already deployed three nuclear submarines in Guam.

It also suggests that the United States "homeport more of the Pacific Fleet's ships at forward locations such as Hawaii, Guam and Japan."

Source: Mainichi