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U.S. Think Tank Urges Stronger Shipbuilding Ties with Asian Allies

Daniel Kim Views  

Yonhap News

The American think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has advised that the United States needs to strengthen its cooperation with allies such as South Korea and Japan to win in a potential conflict against the Chinese navy.

The Transnational Threat Project of CSIS stated on June 5 that while China is rapidly expanding its navy, the U.S.’s naval power is weakening. They suggested that to maintain its current maritime superiority, the U.S. must deepen its cooperation with allies like South Korea and Japan, which have strong shipbuilding industries.

The research team noted that China operates 234 warships, more than the U.S. Navy’s 219 (excluding logistics and support vessels). They evaluated that if the navies of South Korea and Japan fought alongside the U.S., they could overcome their numerical disadvantage against China.

The researchers stated that Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force operates 4 cruisers, 34 destroyers, 10 frigates, and 4 helicopter carriers. Meanwhile, the South Korean navy possesses 3 cruisers, 6 destroyers, 16 frigates, and 5 patrol ships.

However, the research team emphasized that while strengthening cooperation with allies like South Korea and Japan, the U.S. Navy itself needs to expand. They pointed out the difficulties in effectively integrating the military capabilities of the U.S. and its allies, and the uncertainty of whether South Korea and Japan would fight alongside the U.S., which is beyond American control.

Furthermore, the competitive shipbuilding industries of South Korea and Japan are seen as beneficial to the U.S. The researchers said, “China’s shipbuilding industry is estimated to be about 230 times larger than America’s,” allowing China to repair damaged ships and build replacement vessels more quickly in the event of war.

While it may be difficult for the U.S. to expand its shipbuilding capacity, they suggested that it could narrow the gap through cooperation with South Korea and Japan, which respectively accounted for 26% and 14% of global shipbuilding last year. However, they noted, “Building U.S. navy vessels in foreign shipyards is unlikely due to legal restrictions,” and concluded that “nurturing the U.S. shipbuilding industry over the next few decades is the only long-term solution.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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