And here, a few years before the start of the service of the new American aircraft carriers, comrades from the Middle Kingdom publish very, very remarkable news regarding their weapons. Back in the 70s, China began research on anti-ship ballistic missiles. The very concept of this weaponsHaving infiltrated beyond the borders of the PRC, it was repeatedly brainstormed and rejected because of its futility. In all countries where they learned about the Chinese development, they came to the conclusion that a ballistic missile cannot hit moving targets, such as ships in general and aircraft carriers in particular. In addition, the Chinese planned to install on their DongFeng-21 (DF-21) - this designation received a rocket - non-nuclear warheads. Of course, even a kinetic "pig" weighing a kilogram in 600, descending a ballistic trajectory, can make a solid hole in the deck of an aircraft carrier, but it must first be guided with appropriate accuracy. And here mobility of goals again arises, as the main minus of the concept. However, twenty years after the start of work on the DF-21, the next rocket of the family, as the Chinese said, successfully passed the tests and was put into service. Finally, recently there was information about the next ballistic RCC - DF-21D. It is alleged that it has a range of three thousand kilometers and sufficient accuracy.
How exactly the Chinese managed to bring the range to the stated limits, there are no particular questions - both the USSR and the USA passed this stage many years ago. But how accurate the DF-21D is provided ... In general, there are more questions on the rocket than answers. The situation is similar with the versions regarding the nuances of application. So the whole DF-21 family may not turn out to be super-successful products, in which revolutionary new solutions have been implemented, but a banal, even if very interesting, bluff. In addition, in Washington’s military-political views, carrier-based strike groups (AUG) are given the role of a “long arm” mobile and strong enough to solve most of the arising tasks. If the DF-21 still does not turn out to be an entertaining propaganda move, then the States risk in the event of a conflict with China very well “get their hands on”. But the United States through the fault of the enemy did not lose their aircraft carriers since the Second World War.
And yet, if China does not actually have such missiles, which are said, why does it want them so? The fact is that in the post-war period, the Soviet and American naval fleets dominated the Pacific. After the collapse of the USSR, American sailors remained “alone” and began to seriously annoy the Chinese. For the time being, the Celestial Empire could only look at the "self-propelled pieces of America" flickering not far from territorial waters, but still beyond them. Until now, China has been able to act more or less actively only at a small distance from the coast, but now there is a tendency to move away from such a “leash”. However update fleet - It’s not a quick business, and something needs to cover the coastal areas. The DF-21D missile is perfect for this role, if it, of course, really has the characteristics that are called in open sources.
It seems that the Pacific Ocean risks becoming a new arena for the next arms race. Only this time, not the USSR but the PRC will “chase” with the Americans. But this is a start: over time, for understandable reasons, Russia, both Korea and Japan, can join this race. True, the most likely participants in a potential race, although they are increasing their weapons, do not serve the intention to actively oppose anyone. China, as usual, reiterates the protection of maritime borders, and the United States, according to US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Political Affairs Michel Flurnua, "does not seek to contain China." And as an enemy of the Celestial Empire, they also do not consider. Nevertheless, ship connections, including AUG, regularly go from the American continent to the western part of the Pacific Ocean, and these ships try to track in every possible way on the Asian coast. Yes, and new American ships are increasingly being sent to serve in those fleets that serve in the Pacific. It turns out a sort of "cold war Punchinello" - it seems to be there, but its like no.
So far, the Pacific arms race looks something like this. The US is building the lead aircraft carrier of a new project and is preparing to lay the second ship. China announces the creation and staging on duty of a new ballistic missile with anti-ship designation. In turn, the United States has been developing a new unmanned aerial vehicle for several years already, capable of operating from aircraft carriers and at a great distance from them. China intends to create new anti-aircraft missile systems that can deal with all types of existing and future aircraft, and so on. In principle, the essence of the "competition" is already clear, only the dates and details are questionable. For example, the love of Americans for drones brings to the leading roles the means of electronic warfare, and the emphasis on aircraft carriers directly provokes the enemy to develop their anti-ship missiles.
Looking at the latest American experience, one can understand why countries need a good fleet - from Midway to Iraq, ship-based airplanes have always played an important role in battles. And during World War II, most of the battles for the island were, at least, with a significant participation of the fleet. And it is precisely the battles for the islands that may in the future become a hot topic in the western Pacific. This may be a hypothetical landing of Chinese troops to Taiwan, which is predicted is not the first decade; this may be a conflict over the possession of islands located in the East China Sea (China and Japan have long been unable to agree to whom they should belong). In addition, there are deposits of oil and gas in the South China Sea. And on the territory where these deposits should be, several countries claim: China, Vietnam, the Philippines and not only. So far, fighting in this region has not reached, but clashes have already occurred. In particular, last year, Chinese warships prevented the Vietnamese research vessel from passing into the disputed area. Hanoi, said a formal protest and demanded that Beijing will no longer try to go into the water area.
If it comes to active clashes for these deposits, there is already reason to believe that China will win. Firstly, today the Chinese Navy is one of the best fleets of all of Asia, and secondly, the construction of new ships continues. As a result, the later the conflict begins, the more forcefully the enemies of the Middle Kingdom will have to face. And here you can again return to the American aircraft carriers. Of course, the US is not going to war with China - if only because of its resource mobilization capabilities. But the Americans can drive closer to the emerging “fight” of one or the other AUG to indicate their concern. And it’s not profitable for them to allow China to get into their hands all these disputed territories, and this is not only a matter of hydrocarbons. If the Chinese settle in the South China Sea, it will be easier for them to “get” American bases on the island of Guam.
It should be noted that US Navy already has experience of intimidating China with its aircraft carriers. In 1996, before the presidential election in Taiwan, the Celestial Empire conducted a series of missile tests in the strait between the mainland and the island. In this way, Beijing hoped to “hint” Taiwanese voters that they should not cast their vote for a candidate who favors full independence. The then American President of the USA B. Clinton, also hinting, but already on the readiness of his country to intercede for the Republic of China, sent two AUGs to Taiwan. As a result, Taiwan's voters are greatly appreciated the steps States and chose the president, less nice Beijing. In turn, China began to develop a plan to counter a possible American threat. This plan eventually became the root cause of all the recent and ongoing construction of new ships. Only the official reason for the rapid acceleration of the development of the fleet was the need to protect their merchant ships and ensure the safety of international sea routes. New strategy in 2004, announced by President Hu Jintao. At first, few people took Chinese plans seriously, but an old satellite shot down in 2007 forced the skeptics to reconsider their attitude to Beijing's statements. Successes in the construction of the fleet can be commented as follows: the number of submarines carrying anti-ship missiles has increased almost fourfold over the past ten years. And this is only a quantitative growth, and in fact there is also a qualitative one - it consists in a significant increase in the share of new ships.
With the growth of defenses, the statements of the Chinese military have changed. The most "militant" of them had accused the US is that they are trying to lock up for the so-called China first island chain - it consists of the Japanese archipelago, Taiwan, the Philippines, etc. Moreover, most of the countries in the first chain have agreements with the United States on military assistance. Now the "Chinese dragons" intend to gradually oust the Americans from the region and squeeze them all the way to the Hawaiian islands. Napoleonic plans, do not say anything. American analysts are not yet inclined to regard the Chinese Navy as guaranteed winners of battles. On the contrary, they believe the PLA Navy (the Navy of the People’s Liberation Army of China) will not be able to emerge victorious from an open clash with US Navy. So, the only way to secure victory on the same islands of the South China Sea is to create the conditions under which American ships arrive in the combat area, as they say, to a closet analysis. Those. when the PLA already has time to gain a foothold on the islands. In the 2008 year began a series of war games under the title "Pacific Vision" in the USA. The enemy of the American army and navy in them was a kind of "almost equal rival." When a similar formulation somehow recall the Russian proverb "about gray speech ...." Americans do not want, therefore, to once again provoke the "gray dragon". Probably, they have reason for this.
But the US can not enter into an open confrontation with China - it prevents a number of economic problems. One of them was beautifully illustrated by the 2008 caricature of the year, in which a certain American character protested against the Beijing Olympics and demanded independence for Tibet. At the same time, both the T-shirt and the cap worn on the character, and even the flag with the slogan had a postscript “Made In China”. Indeed, the United States and China have very, very strong commodity-money relations. At one time, many productions were moved from America to the Celestial, where the cost of goods came out much lower. As a result, as Michael Reagan (president of the Ronald Reagan Heritage Foundation and the adoptive son of the ex-president) says, China holds the States with a death grip. And it concerns not only consumer goods. The same M. Reagan describes it in a similar way: the US has a growing budget deficit - almost a trillion a year. And what to do with it? China can buy it. Can. Moreover, he will do it. And by this, will even more tightly squeeze his hands on the American "throat."
States, of course, can reduce Chinese influence on their economies. But this requires again to raise its industry and again begin to produce at all the same, which at one time was transferred to Chinese factories and plants. And this business is not one year and not one trillion dollars. Will Washington be able to cope with the Chinese "grip"? But the most offensive, as M. Reagan argues, is different. Against the United States, China worked in much the same way as Ronald Reagan tried to influence the Soviet Union in the eighties. Here are his words: “They devalued their own currency, took ours and set the course that we see today - they do the same with America as Ronald Reagan did with the Soviet bloc - he put him on his knees. And it's time for our administration to see it. ” What can not argue with him, so it is in the last thesis.
It turns out that a very remarkable situation has developed in Southeast Asia. China, while it was possible, did everything to not only enrich itself "at the expense of others", but also to strengthen its political, military and economic influence, at least on the region. And the United States, in turn, in the pursuit of profits from consumer goods, “missed” the most crucial moment and themselves raised their own geopolitical “almost equal rival”. And, what is even more interesting and offensive, the United States now has many problems without China that need to be resolved as soon as possible. And the Celestial Empire, meanwhile, is building up its military power and making plans for the future. Will there be then in them such words as "Taiwan" or "Guam"?