China has nuclear submarines
"Peace, Harmony and Cooperation at Sea"
So far there have only been rumors and guesses from experts about the Chinese underwater fleet. They estimate the Chinese nuclear submarine classes Jin and Shang to be roughly equivalent to the latest boat types in other countries.
The conventionally powered boats of the Yuan class therefore even surpass the capabilities of all other comparable boats. Thanks to the air-independent drive, a Chinese in-house development, the boat can complete weeks of diving trips.
The public presentation of the previously well-hidden fleet is a sign of the new self-confidence of China as a sea power. Vice-Admiral Ding Yiping's remarks to the Xinhua State Intelligence Service also left no doubt.
China wants to "contribute to peace"
"Contributions to global, regional and maritime peace," said Ding, can be expected from the Chinese Navy in the future. China is a driving force for "peace, harmony and cooperation at sea," read the Chinese army newspaper.
The fact that China is participating in the international anti-pirate mission off Somalia had already been understood as a sign of China's push into the circle of global sea powers. China is "on the march to become a superpower," wrote US expert David Lai.
Foreseeable endurance test
"The real acid test will come when China has to defend interests that do not coincide with those of the UN or contradict those of the United States," Lai recently warned in the specialist publication "China Security".
This year's report by the US Department of Defense on China's military capabilities underlined that China was increasingly successful in extending the "domiciliary rights" off its own coasts into international waters.
Creeping expansion of power
Only recently there was a confrontation between a US ship and a Chinese boat in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims as its own territory. The calls to want to "take Taiwan back" sound more and more confident of victory.
The former fleet commander Shi Yunsheng made no secret of the fact in the Chinese magazine "Outlook Weekly" that China's navy "must continue to work in the current direction" so that the capabilities at sea "correspond to China's rank as a great power".
Aircraft carrier as the next step?
"In order to defend national maritime rights and interests, we need an aircraft carrier," said Shi. The announcement of the construction of its own aircraft carrier could even be made at the anniversary celebrations. The army was silent about this.
Secret remains secret
In any case, China makes sure that it does not risk anything with the self-confident presentation of its own military technology: How many submarines Beijing has remains a well-kept secret. According to their own statement, there are "far fewer" than in Russia and the USA.
However, the US has repeatedly criticized the lack of transparency in China's armaments plans. Only the smallest part of Beijing's military spending is clear where it is going. China rejected the allegations, albeit without disclosing details about its own projects.
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