US media on Monday claimed that the era of total US submarine dominance over China is ending, a move Chinese experts said on Tuesday is yet another hype of the “China threat” theory motivated by the US hegemonic mentality.
China is narrowing one of the largest gaps dividing the US and Chinese militaries as it makes advances in its submarine technology and undersea detection capabilities, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Monday.
The WSJ report claimed that China launched early this year a nuclear-powered attack submarine with a pump-jet propulsion system instead of a propeller, marking the first time this noise-reducing technology used on the latest US submarines had been seen on a Chinese submarine.
Citing satellite images, the WSJ said China’s manufacturing base for nuclear-powered submarines laid out hull sections larger than the hull of any existing Chinese submarine a few months earlier, and that the plant was expanded with a second modern construction hall in 2021, indicating plans to boost output.
China has also built or nearly finished several underwater sensor networks in the South China Sea and other regions around the Chinese coast, similar to the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) developed by the US during the Cold War to detect Soviet subs, giving it a much better ability to detect enemy submarines, the WSJ said.
The WSJ highlighted the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) efforts in finding enemy submarines by adding patrol aircraft and helicopters as well as conducting anti-submarine warfare exercise with warships.
China has not publicly announced most of the developments mentioned in the US media report, so they are little more than mere speculations based on open information that could be false or misleading, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Tuesday.
However, it is logical that China would rightfully continue to develop its underwater national defense capabilities in order to safeguard its national security, sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests, and other countries are in no position to make irresponsible remarks, the expert said.
The report talked about “US submarine dominance,” which exposes the US-style hegemonic mentality that only the US can have absolute advantages over others, the expert said.
The WSJ report also linked China’s submarine developments to the Taiwan question, claiming that a greater threat to US submarines would complicate the task of sinking ships in the attacking PLA fleet in case of a PLA reunification-by-force operation.
“The US needs far more resources, such as patrol aircraft and attack submarines, to locate, track and potentially target a new generation of quieter Chinese submarines,” the WSJ quoted a former US Navy officer as saying.
Such rhetoric again hypes the “China threat” theory aimed at demonizing, isolating and containing China, and it creates excuses for the US to expand its military budget and for US arms firms to make more profits, analysts said.
It is totally wrong that the US should militarily interfere in the Taiwan question, which is an internal affair of China, experts said.