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China’s Gathering Amphibious and Airborne Expeditionary Capabilities
Briefing for IDGA’s Amphibious Operations Summit

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by Richard Fisher, Jr.
Published on May 21st, 2012
PAPERS & STUDIES

China’s Communist Party leadership views the acquisition of greater global power as necessary to sustain its political dictatorship. As China deploys increasingly modern and long-range naval and air assets, there will be an increase in China-US military posturing combined with both coercive and cooperative diplomacy. By the 2020s ,China could have a force of 4 to 5 aircraft carriers and up to 12 large amphibious assault ships. PLA development of modern carrier fighters and possible STOVL fighters will put it on a near  par with the U.S. Navy and Marine air forces.  Both PLA Marine, and much larger PLA Army Amphibious, forces have stressed increasing mechanization and firepower.

Current limited formal PLA airlift assets could be expanded considerably with civilian “militia” cargo lift. Expected development of the “Y-20” could give the PLA an airlifter similar in capability to the C-17. Formal PLA Airborne forces have been mechanized over the last decade, and new medium-weight armor and the Y-20 will give the PLA a formidable future air expeditionary capability.  China’s space program is a PLA-Space program to the Moon and beyond, and the PLA will derive “dual use” benefits all along the way toward controlling the “Earth-Moon System.” 

By the 2020s , US Marines will not be alone in the Expeditionary business, and may have a tough competitor.

See the Download file whole briefing here.

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