Will China’s fourth aircraft carrier challenge US naval dominance in Asia?

Apr1,2024



New Delhi: China's ambition naval expansionmarked by the creation of its fourth Aircraft CarrierType 004, ready to be reshaped maritime balance of power in Asia and potentially challenge US naval dominance, There have been no delays in its construction, according to Yuan, a key figure in the carrier's development, the South China Morning Post reports, adding that examples show the ship is being built at Shanghai's Jiangnan Shipyard.
Experts such as Abdul Rahman Yacob of the Lowy Institute estimate that if it is conducted Nuclear EnergyThe Type 004 can use advanced, power-intensive weaponry and can operate at sea for extended periods without requiring replenishment. This capability would enable the Chinese Navy to project a stronger presence in international waters, despite China's limited regional military bases compared to China. America's extensive network and alliances with countries like Australia, South Korea and Japan.
The Type 004's potential nuclear propulsion enhances its strategic profile, making it comparable to the US Nimitz-class carriers in terms of size and capability. Malcolm Davis of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute says that although this development realigns regional power dynamics, the operational focus of Chinese carriers remains primarily on supporting joint landing operations targeting Taiwan. However, the SCMP report said their presence would also boost China's confidence in other regional contingencies.
Fujian, China's third carrier, is already equipped with cutting-edge technology such as electromagnetic catapults, setting a precedent for the advanced capabilities expected from the Type 004. China's naval strategy aims to expand its influence beyond the second island chain and into the Indian Ocean. Symbolizes the long-term goal of challenging US maritime dominance.
Regional analysts such as Joshua Bernard España highlight increased tensions due to this expansion, especially in disputed areas such as the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. Southeast Asian countries have been urged to develop countermeasures to maintain autonomy in the face of China's growing naval power.
As China modernizes its fleet, adding guided-missile destroyers and amphibious assault ships capable of operating away from its shores, the global maritime order is at a crossroads. The SCMP report said the rise of China's maritime power, coupled with its military capabilities, poses a direct challenge to the free and open Indo-Pacific vision espoused by the US and its allies.



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