China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress [October 1, 2010] [open pdf - 629KB]
"China's naval modernization effort, which began in the 1990s, encompasses a broad array of weapon acquisition programs, including anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs), submarines, and surface ships. China's naval modernization effort also includes reforms and improvements in maintenance and logistics, naval doctrine, personnel quality, education, training, and exercises. The Department of Defense (DOD) and other observers believe that the near-term focus of China's military modernization effort has been to develop military options for addressing the situation with Taiwan. Consistent with this goal, observers believe that China wants its military to be capable of acting as a so-called anti-access force--a force that can deter U.S. intervention in a conflict involving Taiwan, or failing that, delay the arrival or reduce the effectiveness of intervening U.S. naval and air forces. DOD and other observers believe that China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is increasingly oriented toward pursuing additional goals, such as asserting or defending China's claims in maritime territorial disputes, protecting China's sea lines of communications, displacing U.S. influence in the Pacific, and asserting China's status as a major world power. Placing an increased emphasis on U.S. Navy programs for countering improved Chinese maritime military capabilities in coming years could lead to one more of the following: developing and procuring highly capable ships, aircraft, and weapons for defeating Chinese anti-access systems; assigning a larger percentage of the Navy to the Pacific Fleet; homeporting more of the Pacific Fleet's ships at forward locations such as Hawaii, Guam, and Japan; increasing training and exercises in operations relating to countering Chinese maritime anti-access forces, such as antisubmarine warfare (ASW) operations; and increasing activities for monitoring and understanding developments in China's navy, as well as activities for measuring and better understanding operating conditions in the Western Pacific."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33153