The Rise of the Chinese Navy
Recent weeks have been significant for the rise of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (plan). The country’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier—the Shandong—was sent out for its second set of sea trials on August 27. This carrier is on track to enter plan service sometime next year, bringing China a major step closer to accomplishing its goal of having an aircraft carrier battle group.
Construction has also accelerated on China’s third aircraft carrier, which will be catapult-capable and a step up from the first two—in terms of both size and capability. The South China Morning Post reported on the carrier in January, citing Chinese military sources, saying the new vessel “will use a launch system that is more advanced than the Soviet-designed ski-jump systems used in its other two aircraft carriers.” This catapult system “will mean less wear and tear on the planes and it will allow more aircraft to be launched in a shorter time than other systems,” the report noted.
In recent weeks, the Chinese Navy has also launched the Nanchang, a Type 055 guided missile destroyer, for its first set of trials. The Type 055 is Asia’s largest and most formidable noncarrier warship. With 112 vertical launching cells, the Type 055 is able to carry and launch substantial numbers of missiles of numerous types, rendering it well equipped to guard aircraft carriers. The destroyer is believed to include antiaircraft, antisubmarine and antisurface capabilities, and China is building at least four of them.
These developments are significant because unlike most of the vessels the Chinese Navy currently has, these aircraft carriers and Type 055s are blue-water capable. They can navigate across the deep waters of the open oceans and considerably extend the reach of the plan.
Meanwhile, China is also continuing to tighten its grip on the South China Sea, further developing its first overseas base in the East African country of Djibouti and working toward establishing a naval base in Gwadar, Pakistan. The Chinese are stealthily laying an economic foundation for numerous other naval bases around the globe. With its aircraft carriers and Type 055s soon entering service in the plan, China will be well positioned to defend and expand all of these various hubs.
Ship by ship and port by port, China is building one of the main engines of international power: a modern naval force that is able to project power far from home.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has said that China’s expansion of its naval capacity—in the South China Sea and beyond—should alarm the world because it means “China is steering the world toward war.”
In our July 2016 issue, he wrote:
[T]he American military is retreating, and other great powers are coming in to fill the vacuum. … China is intimidating the nations of Southeast Asia into submission to its will. … Everything is headed in the direction of war.
Mr. Flurry’s understanding of where China’s rising naval power is leading is based on Bible prophecy.
In Deuteronomy 28:52, God warns the nations of Israel that if they reject Him, He will hand control of the world’s strategic sea-gates over to their enemies: “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”
Mr. Flurry has explained that this is “a prophecy for the modern-day descendants of Israel! Two nations in particular represent Israel in this end time: America and Britain.”
With China’s rising naval power, the stage is being set for China to block the U.S. and United Kingdom out of not just the Asian gates they once controlled, such as Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Singapore, but even those that are thousands of miles from China, like the Panama Canal, Falkland Islands and possibly Gibraltar.
The fact that China’s expansion is happening in many locations that were under the control of the U.S. and Britain just a few short years ago, and the fact that China’s navy is growing in a way that challenges U.S. maritime dominance, show that this prophecy in Deuteronomy is well along in the process of being fulfilled.