Some articles and a few thoughts for the weekend …Release of the Annual DoD Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China
Though it doesn’t specifically mention the recent harassment of USNS Impeccable by Chinese ships in international waters http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7933171.stm, the new Department of Defense report, released on 25 March 2009, does provide some interesting insight on the Chinese armed forces, also known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). For example, the document acknowledges press reports of the new naval base under construction on Hainan Island, explaining …
“The base appears large enough to accommodate a mix of attack and ballistic missile submarines and advanced surface combatant ships. The port, which has underground facilities, would provide the PLA Navy with direct access to vital international sea lanes, and offers the potential for stealthy deployment of submarines into the deep waters of the South China Sea.”
On a broader scale, the report also urges China to increase transparency and suggests caution by stating that, “China continues to promulgate incomplete defense expenditure figures and engage in actions that appear inconsistent with its declaratory policies.”
Check out and comment on the full DoD report, available here:
And perhaps readers missed some other interesting news last week concerning the Russian military aircraft that flew within 500 feet of a U.S. aircraft carrier during military exercises …
This was actually reported more than a week ago, but it hasn’t gotten much traction. It’s been over a year since the Russians last did an over-flight like this, but it is worth noting that the aircraft were detected early and escorted by F/A-18s from 70 miles out. According to the article, two Russian IL-38s flew 500 feet over the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis (CVN 74) on 16 March, and then the following day two Bear bombers flew 2,000 feet over the command ship Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Both vessels were taking part in military exercises with South Korean forces.
And this week’s international navies photos is …
Update: Listen to the WTOP radio interview with Eric: Danger on the High Seas
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