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China’s vulnerability to a US naval blockade

July 19, 2013

The American Thinker today has a summary of and link to a paper in the Journal of Strategic Studies that demonstrates both China’s extreme vulnerability to a US naval blockade, and the relative ease with which the US Navy could accomplish such a blockade.  China’s maritime warfare capabilities are certainly expanding, but they are focused currently only on denying US naval access to their close waters, which is not enough to break a blockade, which can be accomplished from distances from which Chinese conventional forces could not touch.  I have discussed this scenario here, both in the main text and in the comments (much more briefly than the JSS paper, to be sure), and the strategic picture can be well comprehended from my post on The Keys that Lock Up the Energy World.  Some leading Chinese academics, politicians and military officers have proclaimed their intention to achieve naval dominance over the Western Pacific by the end of this decade, but that will require a serious degradation of the US Navy at least as much as continued capability additions from China, which is highly unlikely to occur.

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