China Builds a Powerful New Navy

By David Dunlop, 22 January 2022

China Navy 01

Here is an interesting article recently published by Asian News Institute (ANI) commenting on the speed of the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) build-up of its naval power and the number of new naval ships it has commissioned just in 2021 alone. PLAN has commissioned some 170,000 tonnes worth last year alone including: one Type 094A SSBN submarine; two type 075 landing helicopter docks (LHDs) with another ready for trials this year; three type 055 cruisers; seven type 052D destroyers; six type 056A corvettes; six type 082II mine countermeasure vessels; one cable-laying ship; and three type 927 surveillance (spy) ships. China is also building its third type 003 aircraft carrier with its first electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) and building a dry dock big enough to fit this new carrier as well. The record production and commissioning of these naval vessels is jaw-dropping. China's recent naval growth is no doubt geared towards Taiwan and its out-lying islands, but also to the west and in particular to counter the perceived threats from recent western allies' incursions. This should give Canada pause to consider and perhaps alter its naval policy towards China. 

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Volume 17, Number 3 (2022)

Here we are in 2022, and now suffering through the fifth wave of the never-ending pandemic. But we take heart that the end is (hopefully) near, and we continue to produce new issues of Canadian Naval Review. The show must go on.

I’m happy to announce that the Winter issue is coming soon. As usual, the issue begins with an Editorial. This one looks backward at the past year, and forward to the new year. It discusses what is being published about maritime issues, and the disconnect between what the interested community is doing and the attention the government pays to maritime security. Then we have five fascinating articles.

The first article is the winner of the 2021 CNMT Essay Competition. It is by Christopher Verklan and is entitled “Winning the Narrative Battle on the High Seas: A Warning for the RCN.” Information warfare is a growing concern. Is the RCN ready to act in this arena? Read the article and find out. The second article calls for a new Canadian defence policy, one which pays more attention to the Indo-Pacific region. The third article looks back in history at the development of camouflage at sea – particularly diffused lighting camouflage – during the First and Second World Wars. The fourth article proposes a revised fleet structure for the RCN. And the final article discusses what capabilities Canada would need in a next generation submarine.

We also have a selection of very interesting commentaries. Dave Perry’s column should be read by everyone. In “Defence and Economic Recovery,” Perry discusses the contributions that defence spending provides to both the economy and the ‘middle class jobs’ so beloved by the government. Other contributors look at European navies in Asia, the environment and the RCN, putting Canadian reserve forces under provincial jurisdiction.... I could go on. As usual the issue is full of great material – illustrated with amazing photos.

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