China's shipbuilding capacity 200 times faster than US: Leaked intel
Leaked US Navy intelligence has revealed a significant disparity in shipbuilding capacity between China and the United States.
Leaked US Navy intelligence indicated that China's shipbuilding capacity surpasses that of the US by a staggering 232 times, Insider reported.
This information came to light through a leaked US Navy briefing slide that circulated online in July. The slide, titled "PLAN vs. USN Naval Force Laydown," appeared to be labeled as "unclassified."
As per the data presented in the slide, Chinese shipyards boast a capacity exceeding 23.2 million tons, a stark contrast to the US capacity, which is less than 100,000 tons.
Additionally, the slide seems to provide a comparison of the "battle force composition" of both navies, encompassing various categories of vessels like combatant ships, submarines, mine warfare ships, major amphibious ships, and large combat support auxiliary ships.
A US Navy representative confirmed the authenticity of the briefing slide in an article published by Fox News Digital on September 14. The spokesperson clarified that the slide offers insights into China's shipbuilding capacity trends and context. However, it was emphasized that the Navy did not intend for the slide to be interpreted as an exhaustive examination of China's commercial shipbuilding sector.
"The slide was developed by the Office of Naval Intelligence from multiple public sources as part of an overall brief on strategic competition," the spokesperson said as quoted by Insider.
China has been actively enhancing its naval capabilities, boasting the world's most extensive navy with over 355 vessels in its fleet, according to a 2021 report by the US Naval Institute.
The Pentagon's 2022 annual report on China's military growth predicted that the Chinese fleet will expand to 400 ships by 2025 and reach 440 ships by 2030. In contrast, the US maintains a smaller fleet of 296 ships, as indicated by a 2021 report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Nevertheless, the US Navy remains widely recognized as the world's most formidable naval force. Former US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper claimed in 2020 that even if the US were to halt ship production, it would take China several years to match the US Navy's capabilities. Esper attributed this to the US Navy's extensive experience and advanced technology.