Singha wrote:with so many large hulls they need more bases around the world . the gulf-to-red-sea fleet will be next...based in djibouti and gwader.
a submarine base in vanuatu to get the aussies off balance
but the real prize would be a base on south coast of java or sumatra adjacent to deep and open water of IOR ... that would be a supreme prize worth paying anything for.
I think a modest fleet in the IOR is inevitable. The piracy patrols had given them an excuse and a history in the region.
But their surpreme prize is Taiwan bar none. With it, the US cordon is broken and the chinis will spill into the open ocean. It is not only an ultimate chini historical situation but an ultimate geo-strategic one as well.
Taiwan is why their assets in the IOR or anywhere else will always be no more than a rump force. Their focus has to remain on East and Northeast Asia. It is existential for them.
And the funny thing is the chinis probably feel they are overmatched! Their current 64-cell VLS Type 052D is outgunned by the monsters that operate in the region:
US Ticonderoga — 122 VLS
US Arleigh Burke — 96 VLS
Japanese Atago — 96 VLS
Japanese Kongo — 90 VLS
Korean Sejong — 128 VLS
They’ll be keeping most of those 052D and 055 hulls in their waters.
BTW, when we talk about rivalry helping to build up a nation this the best example, the chini navy’s massive buildout can be attributed directly to their rivalry with the US and its allies.
I kind of envy them and the way their ships and aircraft interact with those of Unkil, the Samurai, Korea, Taiwan, Oz and the others. I know it drives them to greater and greater heights. They in turn can do the same for us.