English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Chinese nuclear submarine surfaces near Guam in bid to deter US domination in West Pacific

China flaunts is Type 094 nuclear submarine in wake of US domination in West Pacific

China is working feverishly to build its naval deterrence against the United States focusing on its nuclear submarine fleet and aircraft carriers.

It is well-known that the Chinese submarine arm is its weak link in its nuclear triad to deter the mucj superior US naval arsenal in the Indo-Pacific.

Unsurprisingly, Chinese President Xi Jinping has recently written to “a submarine crew,” urging it to continuously improve its ability to fulfil missions and tasks, and strive to become an elite force with overall competency, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

In his capacity as the General secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xi noted that the submarine force, which “operates in the deep sea” is tasked with glorious missions and bears great responsibility.

He called upon submariners to work towards achieving goals set for the centenary of the People’s Liberation Army in 2027.

The formation of the Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) grouping, which will have Australia on the frontline, deploying nuclear submarines, appears to have further exposed Chinese vulnerability, forcing planners in Beijing to accelerate acquisition of assets to deter the trilateral alliance driven towards containment of China within the three island chains of the Pacific.

Besides, Chinese media reports say that U.S. and South Korea will hold large-scale military exercises soon, which would include deployment of USS Maine, the U.S. strategic nuclear submarine. The reports add that there are signs that in the future the U.S. nuclear submarines will be stationed at military bases in Japan and South Korea.

USS Maine is the 16th submarine of the Ohio class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). It boards up to 20 Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles. According to the Federation of American Scientists, the Trident II D-5 is the sixth-generation member of the U.S. The Trident II D-5 is a three-stage, solid propellant, inertially guided FBM with a range of more than 7,360 km.

As part of the on-going effort to beef up deterrence, and to dissuade the US to intervene in Taiwan, the Chinese sailed their Type 094 nuclear submarine in the Western Pacific and surfaced it in the Philippine Sea. The location is important as the surfacing took place only 800 kilometres from the US military base in Guam.

“Now that the 094 carrying Julang-2 submarine-launched strategic missiles appears near Guam, it is to prevent the United States from easily intervening in conflicts across the Taiwan Strait,” the Chinese publication Sohu.com said, quoting Jie Wenji, a former Taiwanese official.

The 094 nuclear submarine is China’s most potent underwater platform, As the strongest nuclear submarine currently in service in China, it has an underwater displacement of 12,000 tons and can carry 12 JL2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, with a maximum range of around 7,000 kilometres.

But the missiles carried by 094 sub are too long to be completely installed inside the submarine. Consequently, a raised magazine is specially designed to accommodate these weapons for this purpose, which could make it vulnerable.

In an attempt to flaunt its military muscle, the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong returned to its home port in Hainan “in recent days”, the Chinese military said on Wednesday. The carrier had concluded a month-long voyage, transiting around Taiwan for drills and flex of muscles as far out as the Western Pacific, Reuters reported.

The report pointed out that this year, the Shandong has been spotted in the Taiwan strait, the Bashi channel between Taiwan and the Philippines, and even as far as Guam. Out of these locations, the Bashi channel is of great importance as most of the internet cables connecting Southeast Asia run along its seabed.

Also Read: China rattled as AUKUS announces plan to build future attack submarines