China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities - Background and Issues for Congress [Updated July 20, 2007]   [open pdf - 473KB]

"China's naval modernization has potential implications for required U.S. Navy capabilities in terms of preparing for a conflict in the Taiwan Strait area, maintaining U.S. Navy presence and military influence in the Western Pacific, and countering Chinese ballistic missile submarines. Preparing for a conflict in the Taiwan Strait area could place a premium on the following: on-station or early-arriving Navy forces, capabilities for defeating China's maritime anti-access forces, and capabilities for operating in an environment that could be characterized by information warfare and possibly electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and the use of nuclear weapons. Certain options are available for improving U.S. Navy capabilities by 2010; additional options, particularly in shipbuilding, can improve U.S. Navy capabilities in subsequent years. China's naval modernization raises potential issues for Congress concerning the role of China in Department of Defense (DOD) and Navy planning; the size of the Navy; the Pacific Fleet's share of the Navy; forward homeporting of Navy ships in the Western Pacific; the number of aircraft carriers, submarines, and ASW-capable platforms; Navy missile defense, air-warfare, AAW, ASW, and mine warfare programs; Navy computer network security; and EMP hardening of Navy systems. This report will be updated as events warrant."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33153
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