China never had much of a naval tradition,unlike the Japanese who had a fleet that dominated South East Asia. After the expulsion of the pro-AmericanGeneral Chiang Kai Shek from the mainland to Formosa, the Chinese decided to build a naval fleet from scratch. They have religiously followed a one-point program to dominate the Pacific and match the US fleet.

China and submarines

China has relied on its submarines to restore the balance in the absence of aircraft carriers and more modern warships. They have about 70 submarines but most of them are inferior in technology compared to the US submarines.

However, things are changing and the Chinese have now launched their latest nuclear-powered attack submarine. This is only one and many more will have to be built to challenge the US power in the Pacific and dominate the Oceans in SE Asia.

New nuclear submarine

The latest Chinese submarine is code named 093B and is a nuclear-powered attack submarine. What has surprised analystsis the big strides China has made in the development of this submarine. The Director of the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program of the Center for American Security has opined that the submarine is much quieter and carries an assortment of weapons including the cruise missiles with a vertical launch capability.

In a 2016 report to Congress, the Pentagon has noted that China continues to upgrade its submarine fleet.

At present, the Chinese navy has more submarines than the US navy, but most are technologically inferior and in all probability can notmatch the US fleet. However, the new submarine which is developed by China is a differentkettle of fish. To a degree, it matches the attack submarines of the US fleet. However, for China to build a viable offensive capability they will need at least a dozen and that is a long way off.

In addition, the Chinese navy has no battle experience and has not fought a single war so far.


Submarine operations are specialized affairs and in this department, the Chinese are a long way off. One will also have to take into consideration the human element as well and one wonders whether an indoctrinated, robotised naval personnel can display initiative in battle conditions.