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Comparing US and China Naval Power: Tonnage, Technology & Strategy

Comparing US and China Naval Power: Tonnage, Technology & Strategy

Comparing the Naval Power of the US and China

China's Third Aircraft Carrier Begins Sea Trials

China's third aircraft carrier has recently started its sea trials. Reports suggest that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has more ships than the United States. So, how do these two superpowers compare in terms of tonnage?

Visualizing the Chinese and U.S. Navies

A graphic from Chris Dickert, courtesy of Visual Capitalist, provides a comparison of the Chinese and U.S. navies by tonnage. The data used for this comparison comes from the International Institute for Security Studies.

Key Findings

The U.S. Navy's fleet weighs in at over 3.6 million U.S. tons, which is more than seven times the size of China’s combined fleets, which weigh less than half a million tons. Despite China having the largest number of ships, with 875 between the PLA Navy and the Chinese Coast Guard compared to the U.S. Navy’s 364, the Chinese ships are generally smaller and less technologically advanced.

The Chinese Coast Guard's Role

The Chinese Coast Guard has inherited many of the PLA Navy’s older ships. However, the majority of their vessels are patrol and coastal combatants that average 156 tons each and are not capable of venturing far from China’s coast.

China's Edge in Landing Ships and Crafts

While the U.S. Navy surpasses the PLA Navy in most aspects, China does have a 2:1 advantage in the tonnage of landing ships and craft. This reflects China's stated policy goal of reunifying Taiwan with the mainland.

Closing Thoughts

It's intriguing to see how the naval powers of the U.S. and China compare. While the U.S. leads in overall tonnage and technological advancement, China's larger number of ships and focus on landing crafts indicate different strategic priorities. What are your thoughts on this comparison? Share this article with your friends and discuss it further. Don't forget to sign up for the Daily Briefing, which is delivered every day at 6pm.

Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

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