China: April 10, 2000


The arrival of the first of four Sovremenny-class destroyers bought by China from Russia provides the Chinese Navy (technically the "Navy of the People's Liberation Army") with a considerable improvement in capabilities. Each destroyer will carry eight Russian Sunburn anti-ship missiles, the world's fastest sea-skimmers. These destroyers are, for all practical purposes, the only ones with a fair chance of spotting and destroying Taiwan's submarines, and their chances are better than fair. China has bought a powerful Navy, designed for force projection, from the Russians. Besides the four destroyers are four Kilo-class submarines and dozens of long-range fighters. The Chinese tried and failed to produce such ships and aircraft for themselves. And this may reflect a problem. The Chinese, unable to design or build a submarine like the outstanding Kilo, have been unable to maintain their own Kilos. Two of the four are laid up along side the pier for major overhauls caused by poor crew training and shoddy maintenance. To avoid this problem,
the crews of the destroyers are being sent to Russian bases for extensive training, first on similar ships of the Russian Navy and then on their own new ship. This is one reason why some doubt that the Chinese will attempt to deploy an aircraft carrier within the next decade. Without any experience in such a ship, they might literally not know what to do with it or how to keep it operational. --Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

China: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close