As China Expands Its Fleets, US Analysts Call for Catch-up Efforts

Voice of America News reports: “As China builds more naval and merchant ships, U.S. maritime experts are calling on the Biden administration to increase investment in domestic shipbuilding to catch up with Beijing.

The disparity has prompted U.S. maritime experts to call for a ‘Ships Act’ comparable to the recently enacted ‘Chips Act’ that supports the return of chip manufacturing to the United States.

A Ships Act would recall the U.S. effort undertaken in World War II when domestic shipyards launched more than 5,000 vessels in a war-changing torrent.

Bryan McGrath, managing director at The FerryBridge Group, told VOA Mandarin that the shipbuilding bases of the U.S. and China are simply not comparable.

‘The Chinese industrial base is a behemoth, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base is freakishly undersized as a function of the size of America’s economy and its influence in the world,’ McGrath said.

As of 2020, the U.S. Navy had 297 battle force ships, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service. China surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest navy with an inventory of about 355 vessels, according to a U.S. Defense Department report released in 2021. The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) projects that China will have 400 battle force ships by 2025 and 425 by 2030…”

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