In 2000, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) had access to around one hundred different ships. The PLAN navy doubled in size between 1995 and 2005, expanding to more than 200 vessels.
What would China do in this situation now? I can’t believe that it’s already been eight years since 2010. The 12 years since 2010 feel historically eventful, making 2010 seem like another epoch compared to today when the news cycle seems instantaneous, and citizens have the sensation that more is truly happening.
Many things have changed. A worldwide coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent collapse of the economy Protest movements worldwide led to the election of populist leaders like Trump, Orban, Bolsonaro, and Brexit in the United Kingdom. A victory in the World Series by the Chicago Cubs The United States has officially left Afghanistan. Russia has invaded Ukraine. Islamic State, Crimea, Occupy Wall Street, Libya, and MeToo
Analysis and Reflection
In 2010, Obama had just entered his first term as president. Obama’s crowning achievement is the “Obamacare” healthcare reform law he signed in March. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. forces were active. It would take another two years for the “Pivot to Asia” to occur. On the other hand, an occurrence in June 2010 showed that problems were beginning to emerge in the Pacific. It was now difficult to ignore China. The world’s most populous nation was finally beginning to live up to her incredible potential. Very first time after the downfall of the Soviet Union, the United States might have to contend with a genuine adversary, a regional hegemon in Northeast Asia.
According to John Mearsheimer’s important 2001 text, “The Tragedy of Big Power Politics,” “China is the key to understanding the future allocation of power in Northeast Asia.” China has the potential to grow far wealthier than Japan or even the United States due to the sheer quantity of its population. Look at the following examples to see China’s potential in action. Japan’s GDP per inhabitant has surpassed China’s by 40. If China were to achieve a level of modernization where its per capita GDP was about the same as South Korea’s today, China’s GNP would be $10.66 trillion, making it far higher than Japan’s $4.09 trillion. If China’s per capita GNP expanded to just half the level it is at today, China’s GNP would be $20.04 trillion, making China nearly five times as wealthy as Japan.
Finally, China can compete with and even exceed the United States.
If China’s economy keeps expanding at this high rate, it could surpass the United States in terms of power. The U.S. gross national product was $7.9 trillion in 2001. China’s GDP would be nearly $10.66 trillion if its per capita GDP were the same as Korea’s or around 1.35 times the size of America’s GDP. But the Bush 43 government started two wars in the Middle East, which drained resources and diverted attention away from the more pressing task of balancing against China.
The shift of Attention from China Trade to Defense
As president, Obama would focus more on China than his predecessor. That’s exactly how it should be, too. Only one country had the potential to become a major power rival to China. And where China’s potential and ambition were most clear in the maritime arena, where Beijing had conducted the greatest naval force increase in contemporary history.
In 2000, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) had access to around one hundred different ships. The PLAN navy doubled in size between 1995 and 2005, expanding to more than 200 vessels. Maritime-executive.com states that the PRC’s effort to “coercively envelop Taiwan,” resolve other sovereignty disputes in its favor, carve out the region as a zone of exceptionalism to international rules and norms, and project Beijing’s power and influence around the world could be greatly affected by the “tsunami” of Chinese shipbuilding. To counter Beijing’s shipbuilding boom in June 2010, the United States clearly stated that “the United States still dominates the oceans.” Three Ohio-class submarines, en route from the ocean to the shores of Subic Bay in the Philippines, surfaced to deliver the message.
Ballistic missiles launching from Ohio planned, which is a nuclear-powered submarine. Ohio can carry 24 Trident II missiles, making it the third largest submarine class in the world. Hence, the message to China was apparent, if not explicit, when three Ohio submarines surfaced in the Indo-Pacific carrying 72 ballistic missiles.
Nonetheless, China has continued its shipbuilding efforts in the twelve years following the Ohio tragedy. Between 2015 and 2020, maritime-executive.com claimed, “China’s Navy breached a significant threshold: It fields more battle force ships than the U.S. Navy,” making it the largest navy in sheer numbers. At its current strength of roughly 360 hulls, it has around sixty more warships than its American competitor.
China has the potential to become a global superpower, and the Biden administration should keep its attention there rather than divert it to Russia.